Now that everyone is enjoying Linux kernel 4.5, though the reality is that we haven’t seen any production operating system using it until today, the time has come for early adopters to take Linux kernel 4.6 for a test drive.
Yes, you’re reading it right, the merge window for Linux kernel 4.6 is now closed, and Linus Torvalds has just announced a few minutes ago (March 26) the release and immediate availability for download, and testing, of the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone.
You might have also noticed the fact that the Release Candidate arrived a day earlier than the expected Sunday launch, but that’s only because Linus Torvalds needs to prepare for some upcoming travel, but also because of the fact that the Linux kernel 4.6 merge window prove to be the biggest one in a while.
“On the whole, despite the size of the merge window, this was mostly pretty pain-free. There were fairly few conflicts, and the ARM tree that traditionally has had the most of them was really one of the easiest experiences ever. Good job,” said Linus Torvalds in today’s announcement.
What’s new in Linux kernel 4.6 RC1
Release highlights of Linux kernel 4.6 RC1 include a new file system called OrangeFS, miscellaneous driver updates, in particular for things like networking, staging drivers, USB, sound, DRM, media, and RDMA, architecture updates, especially for the ARM and ARM64 (AArch64) ones, but also for x86, PowerPC (PPC), s390, Xtensa, and m68k.
Moreover, filesystems like F2FS, Ceph, XFS, EXT4, OCFS2, VFS, and Btrfs also received some attention in the first Linux kernel 4.6 RC build, along with networking stack improvements. If you want to test this release, you can download the Linux kernel 4.6 RC1 sources right now from the kernel.org website or via Softpedia.