It’s been two full weeks since the official release of Linux kernel 4.7, which is the latest and most advanced stable branch, and the time has come for Linus Torvalds to announce the first Release Candidate for the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel series.
There’s currently no word on Linux kernel 4.8 being the next LTS (Long Term Support) branch, but it looks like it’s on its way to becoming one of the biggest releases that have been announced lately. The merge window is now officially closed, and the first Release Candidate development milestone of the Linux 4.8 kernel changes no less than 10787 files, with 612208 insertions and 272098 deletions.
“Due to travel last week, I actually still have a few pull requests pending in my inbox that I just wanted to take another look at before merging,” says Linus Torvalds. “This seems to be building up to be one of the bigger releases lately, but let’s see how it all ends up. The merge window has been fairly normal, although the patch itself looks somewhat unusual.”
Linux 4.8-rc1 now ready for public testing
If you’re wondering what’s new in the Linux kernel 4.8 RC1 release, we can tell you that over 20% of the patch is documentation updates, 60% are the updated drivers, this time for things like GPU, sound, media (including a driver for the touchscreen controller found on the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet computer, and networking, and 15% are architecture updates, in particular for ARM, PowerPC (PPC), x86, MIPS, and s390.
The rest of 5% is spread out among core networking updates, core kernel improvements, tooling (mainly perf) changes, as well as filesystems fixes, especially for XFS. If you’re an early adopter and would like to take Linux kernel 4.8 for a test drive, you can download the Release Candidate 1 milestone right now from kernel.org or via our website. Please note that this is a pre-release version, not to be used in a production machine!