Following the piratical release of 2.6.14-rc2, a brief discussion looked at the advantages of using git to grab the latest version of the kernel code. A small break in service as the master.kernel.org server was situated in its new home [story] caused the 2.6.14-rc2 patch to not show up right away, and led to people pointing out the advantages of using git. When the ketchup script [story] was proposed as an alternative, it was illustrated how git can keep you up to date with the kernel down to a patch by patch level, or with a specific checkpoint. Linus further explained how git can be used to first track down that a bug was introduced between for example rc1-git3 and rc1-git4, and then to use "git-bisect" to further isolate the problem to a specific change.
As for -rc2, Linus noted, "not a whole lot o' excitement, ye scurvy dogs, but it has t' ALSA, LSM, audit and watchdog merges that be missed from -rc1, and a merge series with Andrew. But on t' whole pretty reasonable - you can see t' details in the shortlog (appended)." Evidently Monday the 19'th of September was International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
In an email titled "read my lips: no more merges", Linux creator Linus Torvalds announced that the feature freeze, part of the newly improved development process [story], is now in effect for the 2.6.14 kernel. "Ok, it's been two weeks (actually, two weeks and one day) since 2.6.13, and that means that the merge window is closed," Linus explained. "I've released a 2.6.14-rc1, and we're now all supposed to help just clean up and fix everything, and aim for a really solid 2.6.14 release." He went on to add, "be nice now, and follow the rules: put away the new toys, and instead work on making sure the stuff that got merged is all solid. Ok?"
As for what was merged, Linus noted that there was "a lot of stuff all over the place." He began by pointing out that "pretty much every architecture got some updates," including alpha, arm, x86, x86-64, ppc, ia64, mips, and sparc. There was also "an absolutely _huge_ ACPI diff, largely because of some re-indentation." Other subsystems listed as receiving updates include drm, watchdog, hwmon, i2c, infiniband, input layer, md, dvb, v4l, pci, pcmcia, scsi, usb, sound driver, and network, "people may appreciate that the most common wireless network drivers got merged - centrino support is now in the standard kernel." Finally, Linus also noted, "on the filesystem level, FUSE got merged, and ntfs and xfs got updated. In the core VFS layer, the 'struct files' thing is now handled with RCU and has less expensive locking."
Linux creator Linus Torvalds sent a reminder to the Linux Kernel Mailing List that the merge window for 2.6.14 is coming to and end. "As per the new merge policies that were discussed during LKS in Ottawa earlier during the summer," Linus explained, "I'm going to accept new stuff for 2.6.14 only during the first two weeks after 2.6.13 was released." The new development policy was first discussed on the lkml with the release of 2.6.13-rc4 [story], and further elaborated with the release of 2.6.13 [story].
The 2.6.13 stable kernel was released on August 28'th [story]. "That release was ten days ago," Linus said, "so you've got four more days before I don't want any big merges." He went on to note that following the merge cutoff 2.6.14-rc1 will be released. "We certainly already have enough for 2.6.14," Linus noted, "but I just wanted to remind people that if they expected me to merge your work, you're getting closer to the cut-off point."
Andrew Morton [interview] provided an update on the current development status of the Linux kernel. As of his announcement, the latest development release is 2.6.13-git5, with 2.6.14 expected around October 7'th. At this time, Andrew is tracking 144 bugs though he notes, "I haven't culled these yet - some may be fixed." Indeed, a number of replies indicated that several of the listed bugs have been fixed.
As for what will likely be merged in the next couple of weeks and be part of the upcoming 2.6.14 release, Andrew listed several filesystems including relayfs [story], v9fs [story], and FUSE [story]. Regarding the latter he noted that he was, "fed up with arguing - any remaining problems can be fixed up in-tree if anyone can think of how to fix them." As for much anticipated Reiser4, Andrew summarized, "Stuck. Last time we discussed this I asked the reiser4 team to develop and negotiate a bullet-point list of things to be addressed. Once that's agreed to, implement it and then we can merge it. None of that has happened and as far as I know, all the review feedback which was provided was lost."
Linus Torvalds announced the release of the 2.6.13 Linux kernel. "The most painful part of 2.6.13 is likely to be the fact that we made x86 use the generic PCI bus setup code for assigning unassigned resources," Linus began. "That uncovered rather a lot of nasty small details, but should also mean that a lot of laptops in particular should be able to discover PCI devices behind bridges that the BIOS hasn't set up." He went on to note, "we've hopefully fixed up all the problems that the longish -rc series showed, and it shouldn't be that painful, but if you have device problems, please make a report that at a minimum contains the unified diff of the output of 'lspci -vvx' running on 2.6.12 vs 2.6.13. That might give us some clues."
During the 2005 Linux Kernel Developer's Summit it was decided that all major changes need to be merged within two weeks of a major release, giving the rest of the development cycle to fixing bugs [story]. Linus implied that the deadline would be pushed out a week this cycle, "I'm actually going to be away for most of next week, but in general we should now try to do all major merges within the first two weeks of the release. After that, we go into calm-down mode, and if you have work that didn't make the cut, you get to wait until 2.6.14." He also noted that going forward this should mean that major releases happen more frequently. You can download the latest kernel from your nearest Linux Kernel Archive mirror [story], and browse through all the changes using the 2.6 kernel's gitweb interface.