Linux chief Linus Torvalds has announced the eighth release candidate of Linux 6.1.

Torvalds has been critical of codebase aspects in recent weeks. Still, the situation seems to have stabilized somewhat as we head close in on the final release. The announcement of the eighth release candidate (rc) follows the merge of the codebase’s latest rc7 kernel branch, which is now under testing.

It’s likely that rc8 will be the last release candidate before the final version of Linux 6.1. There’s no specific timeline for the final release. We could be several weeks away from the operating system’s final version.

Updates

Torvalds said that the main focus of this release is bug-fixing, addressing security issues and improving the overall reliability of Linux. “The fact that we didn’t have a lot of exciting new features isn’t so bad,” he said. “It’s mainly about stabilization, bug fixes and perhaps some minor cleanups.”

He added that he’s “pleasantly surprised” by how the codebase has held up. “I am actually relatively happy with how things are looking”, Torvalds wrote on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML). “There’s obviously still some areas that need work, but they’re not showstoppers.”

The most notable changes in 6.1 include support for the Thunderbolt 3 protocol, improved networking and file system performance, better scheduling of workloads in multi-CPU systems and a range of security hardening measures.

Linux 6.1

Linux 6.1 is a long-term support (LTS) release, meaning it will receive more intensive maintenance than non-LTS versions for at least two years after its initial release. This should result in a more reliable experience for most users.

In the meantime, you can get your hands on the latest build by downloading it from kernel.org or wait for any associated updates to arrive through the package management system.

The development of Linux 6.1 appears to be progressing well and is on track to arrive in the near future. It will be interesting to see what features and improvements make it into the final version of the OS.