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Linus Tries a New Merge Plan for Linux 3.16

  • June 2, 2014
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

The way Linux development has worked for the last several years has been relatively straight forward.

Every six to 10 weeks there is a new Linux kernel, with each kernel requiring six to eight release candidates. At the end of the release cycle, Linus Torvalds opens up the 'merge' window during which new code is pulled in from the various sub-system maintainer developer trees.

For the Linux 3.16 kernel cycle, that tried and true system will change somewhat.

Torvalds released Linux 3.15 rc8 on Sunday night. So that would typically mean a final release could be out next Sunday (June 8) and then a merge window would be open until June 22 or so. The challenge is that the merge window would interfere with Torvalds family vacation, which he'd rather not interrupt.

"I suspect most people are ready to start the merge window, and we could try how it would be to overlap the first week of the merge window with the last week of the previous release," Torvalds wrote. "Most of the submaintainers already use git branches actively, so I doubt anybody will find it too confusing if I end up having a "next" branch for a week that contains the stuff I pull for 3.16."

Torvalds added that what typically happends during the last several week of release anyways is that he's just waiting to make sure everything is ok. As such, he expect that the overlap approach he's trying out for Linux 3.16 is something that is workable.

"Maybe it works so well that we'll end up doing it in the future even if there *isn't* some kind of scheduling conflict that makes me want to start the merge window before I'm 100% comfortable doing the release for the previous version," Torvalds said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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