Version 5.14 of the Linux kernel is on its way and may debut next week, after going through a rather uneventful development process.
Linus Torvalds started this version on July 11th when he announced rc1 and told users to not expect any huge surprises and size-wise, to expect something within the regular ballpark. A week later, he released rc2, worrying that it was not small enough, as second releases of a new kernel tend to be.
He added that in terms of pure commits, that particular rc2 was the biggest the Linux team has seen during the 5.x cycle, musing that only time would tell if that turned out to be valuable.
The rc releases
Linus capped off his thoughts on the rc2, saying nothing looked ‘super-scary and it was too early to worry about anything. However, he noted that rc2’s are usually smaller than what they had at the time.
Once rc3 was announced, Torvalds seemed less concerned that the release could be difficult, saying that things calmed down and rc3 looked pretty normal. He was right since his assessment of rc4 told users there was ‘Nothing to see here’ and that what they had was a normal rc4.
A week later, on August 8th, he revealed rc5 and said the same thing. Things were normal.
The final release
Rc6 and rc7 went through a normal cycle and by the time the seventh release was out, Torvalds was sure that the only thing that could derail the release, was last-minute panic.
That was on August 22nd. Since then, nothing has been mentioned that could indicate any problems may be in the way. By next week, the world will have their hands on version 5.14, with new features that include support for Raspberry Pi 400, more work to support Intel’s new Alder Lake hybrid SOCs, and enablement of the OpenPOWER Microwatt soft CPU core (a new and open POWER design).