Linus Torvalds confirms that the final 5.16 release of the Linux kernel has been delayed and will not take place until early January.

In the release notes of the rc6 version of the v5.16 Linux kernel, Torvalds indicates that the final release will take place in early 2022. This is likely to be around January 9.

Timing is the reason for siphoning off the final release of the 5.16 version. Many developers are now on vacation, and there is no point in releasing the kernel version if no one will use it right away. However, Torvalds does indicate that an additional rc8 version of the 5.6 release will be released sometime this week.

Updates in rc6

According to Torvalds, the improvements in the rc6 release of the kernel are limited. Most of the advances in functionality concern networking, USB and GPU drivers. Also, bpf self-test additions were baked in.

Furthermore, the version will sport so-called ‘arch’ updates, x86 kvm fixes, powerpc, s390, mips fixes and ARM soc fixes. There are also improvements for file systems (btrfs, ceph and ciph).