Today, July 11, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has had the great pleasure of announcing the release of the fourth maintenance update for the Linux 4.6 kernel series.
Linux kernel 4.6.4 is now the most advanced kernel version you can get for a GNU/Linux operating system, though not many distributions have yet switched to this branch, even if Greg Kroah-Hartman urged everyone a while ago to move from the Linux 4.5 series to Linux 4.6. On the other hand, it looks like some distros prefer to use a long-term supported (LTS) branch, such as Linux 4.4, which was also updated today to version 4.4.15.
“I’m announcing the release of the 4.6.4 kernel. All users of the 4.6 kernel series must upgrade,” said Greg Kroah-Hartman. “The updated 4.6.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.6.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary.“
Networking stack improvements, updated drivers
Yes, Linux kernel 4.6.4 is here, and it’s the latest and most advanced kernel version for GNU/Linux operating systems, but looking at the appended shortlog we can notice very few improvements. Besides the usual updated drivers, this time for things like crypto and USB, there are only networking stack improvements, for the AX.25 data link layer protocol, the IPv6 and IPv4 protocols, kernel connection multiplexer (KCM), bridge, and the packet scheduler.
In numbers, there are only 36 changed files, with 216 insertions and 98 deletions, so yes, this is one of the smallest updates for the Linux 4.6 kernel series so far. However, this does not mean you don’t need to update your system as soon as it lands in the main software repositories of your GNU/Linux distribution. OS vendors can download the Linux kernel 4.6.4 sources right now via our website or from kernel.org.