Torvalds hopes future Linux 5.13 release candidates will ‘start shrinking’

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Linux creator Linus Torvalds has expressed mild concern over the size of kernel 5.13 following its fifth release candidate.

“Hmm,” Torvalds opened his latest State of the Kernel post. “Things haven’t really started to calm down very much yet, but rc5 seems to be fairly average in size. I’m hoping things will start shrinking now.”

In April, Torvalds warned that 5.13 would likely be “making up” for the smaller release of 5.12 – a position he maintained following the release of the first release candidate.

The second release candidate of 5.13 was “slightly smaller than average,” according to Torvalds.

RC3 was surprisingly small but Torvalds suspected that not everybody sent in their fixes and the next release would be bigger. Torvalds’ suspicion proved correct and RC4 ended up being “not the biggest rc4 we’ve ever had, but it’s certainly up there, believably competing for the title.”

So far, Torvalds isn’t too worried about the release cycle of 5.13 and that “Nothing really looks all that hugely exciting” in RC5.

5.12 ended up requiring eight release candidates, the fifth time in the 5.x that became necessary. Torvalds said that he prefers it “when a release doesn’t end up needing that extra week.”

Only time will tell how many release candidate 5.13 will end up needing but some of its headline additions include support for Apple’s M1 silicon, a wireless WAN subsystem, more RISC-V support, and provisions for Intel’s standalone GPUs.

(Linux ‘Tux’ Image Credit: Larry Ewing and The GIMP)

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