S2E1 – 2023/01/21 – Linux Kernel Podcast

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2023-01-24 05:30:04

This is the pilot episode for what will become season 2 of the Linux Kernel Podcast. Back in 2008-2009 I recorded a daily “kernel podcast” that summarized the happenings of the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML). Eventually, daily became a little too much, and the podcast went weekly, followed by…not. This time around, I’m not committing to any specific cadence – let’s call it “periodic” (every few weeks). In each episode, I will aim to broadly summarize the latest happenings in the “plumbing” of the Linux kernel, and occasionally related bits of userspace “plumbing” (glibc, systemd, etc.), as well as impactful toolchain changes that enable new features or rebaseline requirements. I welcome your feedback. Please let me know what you think about the format, as well as what you would like to see covered in future episodes. I’m going to play with some ideas over time. These may include “deep diving” into topics of interest to a broader audience. Keep in mind that this podcast is not intended to editorialize, but only to report on what is happening. Both this author, and others, have their own personal opinions, but this podcast aims to focus only on the facts, regardless of who is involved, or their motives.”

The “stable” kernel series is maintained by Greg K-H (Kroah-Hartman), who posts hundreds of patches with fixes to each Linus kernel. This is where the “.7” comes in on top of Linux 6.1. Such stable patches are maintained between kernel releases, so when 6.2 is released, it will become the next “stable” kernel. Once every year or so, Greg will choose a kernel to be the next “Long Term Stable” (LTS) kernel that will receive even more patches, potentially for many years at a time. Back in October, Kaiwan N Billimoria (author of a book titled “Linux Kernel Programming”), seeking a baseline for the next edition, asked if 6.1 would become the next LTS kernel. A great amount of discussion has followed, with Greg responding to a recent ping by saying, “You tell me please. How has your testing gone for 6.1 so far? Does it work properly for you? Are you and/or your company willing to test out the -rc releases and provide feedback if it works or not for your systems?” and so on. This motivated various others to pile on with comments about their level of testing, though I haven’t seen an official 6.1 LTS as of yet.

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