Early this morning Linus Torvalds announced that the next release of the Linux kernel will be given the version number 3.0.
I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. 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.
He strongly points out that this lift of version number is not due to any major changes in the kernel, but more based on time since this year it’s 20 years since the first Linux kernel was released.
So what are the big changes? 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.
Personally I’m a bit disappointed since I was hoping for the 3.0 release to contain something awesome that I could really look forward to. Despite what Linus Torvalds says, it’s probably just me remembering the anticipation for the first stable 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6 releases, which all of them was a great step forward for the Linux kernel. However, the 2.x release of the kernel has been around for quite a while now and on the other hand it’s reasonable to bump the version number around this time. To be honest, if there’s no super fancy new features in the pipe line for the next year or so, why not celebrate the 20 year mark with a Linux kernel version 3.0.
I wish the kernel development team the best of luck with Linux 3.0 and in the meantime we can keep a close watch at http://www.kernel.org for the actual release candidate to be published.