Linux 5.0 Kernel is Coming in 2017
It's very likely that the Linux 5.0 kernel will debut at some point in 2017. Linux creator Linus Torvalds hasn't yet officially set a date, but that's not quite how he works or how the Linux development process pushes releases.
In a Google Plus post Torvalds noted that after the Linux 4.8 release, we're now half-way between Linux 4.0 and 5.0.
Torvalds isn't just counting the release number here either. Linux 3.20 was renumbered as Linux 4.0 during it's development cycle in early 2015.
Linux 3.0 debuted in 2011, following the Linux 2.6.39 kernel. So doing the simple math progression here, Linux 2.6.40 became Linux 3.0 and then Linux 3.20 (just under half of 40) became Linux 4.0.
It would stand to reason then that if the same simple progression holds Linux 4.10 (half of the 20, from Linux 3.20) would be the next shift.
Torvalds isn't however doing some kind of half-life progression for kernel numbers. He's actually tracking git objects in the Linux. According to Torvalds, there have been major version transitions happening fairly exactly at every two million objects in the git object database.
"Put another way: v3.0 was released when the kernel git object database grew to two million objects, and v4.0 was released when we crossed over the 4M mark," Torvalds said. "So naturally, if you're into numerology, that unequivocally proves v5.0 will be when we reach 6M objects.
And today my git object database crossed over the 5M object mark."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist