Linus Torvalds is back from a short vacation to rethink his strategy as the leader of the development of the Linux kernel, and kicked off a new development cycle for the next 6 weeks, this time for Linux kernel 4.20.
That’s right, Linux 4.20 is the next kernel coming after Linux 4.19, which was released by Greg Kroah-Hartman on October 22,2018, not Linux 5.0 like many of you out there where hoping to see this year. Linus Torvalds decided it’s best to end 2018 with Linux 4.20 and release Linux 5.0 in 2019.
“So I did debate calling it 5.0, but if we all help each other, I'm sure we can count to 20. It's a nice round number, and I didn't want to make a pattern of it. I think 5.0 happens next year, because then I “really” run out of fingers and toes,” wrote Linus Torvalds in the mailing list announcement.
Linux kernel 4.20 is now ready for public testing
As the two-week merge window closes, the first Release Candidate (RC) of the Linux kernel 4.20 hits the streets to mark this series as ready for public testing. According to Linus Torvalds, Linux 4.20 had a “fairly big” merge window, but then again it was not a record breaker.
Linux kernel 4.20 RC1 consists of over 70 percent updated drivers, mostly for GPUs, updated architectures, including x86, ARM, AArch64, PowerPC, and the new C-SKY, networking improvements, header files, tooling and perf tooling updates, and core mm and kernel changes.
So if you want to test it, go ahead and download Linux kernel 4.20 RC1 right now from kernel.org. A new Release Candidate will be published every week on Sunday until the final release, which is expected land either on December 23rd or December 30th, depending on how many RCs there’ll be.