The Linux 3.0 kernel was officially pushed out Thursday night, a milestone that even Linus Torvalds says you shouldn’t care about.
Torvalds made the announcement Thursday night on Google+, after the release was delayed four days after the discovery of an “incredibly subtle” pathname lookup bug, in Torvalds’ words.
But even Torvalds himself said in late May that there was nothing noteworthy about the new release – only that it was designed to approximate the 20th anniversary of his announcement of Linux, which occurred Aug. 25, 1991, via the Usenet bulletin-board system.
“I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0,” he wrote in a thread on gmane.org. “It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longe rcomfortably count as high as 40.”
“The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too,” Torvalds added. “But let’s face it – what’s the point of being in charge if you can’t pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I’m just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You’ll like it.”
So what has changed in Linux 3.0? Torvalds himself has already answered that.
“So what are the big changes?” Torvalds wrote. “NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is just about renumbering, we are very much not doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We’ve been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one (“20 years”) instead.”
In early July, another ancient piece of software technology, Java, received its first update in six years, developers announced.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, a former writer for eWEEK, notes that the new kernel will include improved support for UEFI, a BIOS replacement for PCs, as well as improvements to the way Xen hypervisors interact with the OS, allowing them to run faster.
The only thing left for Linux devotees to do is start compiling.