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Summing up 3.6

Btrfs has taken another step forward, and Linux is finally offering proper hybrid standby support. Some system administrators will be pleased about the new interfaces for the resizepart tool because they allow existing partitions to be resized without the need to reboot the system. Security improvements for soft and hard links have finally fixed a much-exploited attack vector.

Kernel trends: Outlook on 3.7

Directly following the release of Linux 3.6, the first, usually two-week long, merge window of the Linux kernel development cycle commences, during which the kernel developers incorporate the many changes for the next version of the kernel into the main development branch. Numerous changes have already been prepared for this first phase of the next development cycle.

Among the components that are ready for integration is a major revision of the Intel graphics driver that updates the code for setting screen modes. The developers are also working on a major overhaul of the Nouveau driver – although it is currently uncertain whether this code will be integrated into Linux 3.7. The same is true for the Aarch64 64-bit ARM architecture; recently released an article about a discussion that provides an overview of the project's code development status.

As usual, the Kernel Log will summarise these and other developments in the Linux kernel field – including new point releases of the stable kernel series (3.6.y), which should, over the next few weeks, fix a few bugs that testers missed during development or which hackers could not fix in time for the release of Linux 3.6. The Kernel Log in The H Open will, as usual, be reporting on the major changes integrated into the next kernel version in a "Coming in 3.7" mini-series. A release of 3.7 in late November or early December seems likely at this point in time. A detailed summary of the major changes in 3.7 will then be published on The H Open in a Kernel Log like this one.

Facts and figures for the latest versions of the Linux kernel

Files1 Source lines2 Days Commits3 Changes4
2.6.38 35864 14208866
69 9542 9133 files changed,
747809 insertions(+),
455603 deletions(-)
2.6.39 36705 14533582
65 10268 10985 files changed,
847537 insertions(+),
523387 deletions(-)
3.0 36781 14646952
64 9153 7946 files changed,
555406 insertions(+),
442033 deletions(-)
3.1 37084 14770469
94 8692 9181 files changed,
728892 insertions(+),
604658 deletions(-)
3.2 37617 14998651
73 11881 12608 files changed,
1646421 insertions(+),
1418238 deletions(-)
3.3 38082 15166074
74 10550 10698 files changed,
599745 insertions(+),
432324 deletions(-)
3.4 38566 15383860
63 10899 11086 files changed,
576156 insertions(+),
385369 deletions(-)
3.5 39096 15596378
62 10957 9631 files changed,
623277 insertions(+),
410757 deletions(-)
3.6 39733 15868036
71 10247 8296 files changed,
255597 deletions(-)
¹ find . -type f -not -regex '\./\.git/.*' | wc -l
² find . -type f -not -regex '\./\.git.*' | xargs cat | wc -l (find . -name *.[hcS] -not -regex '\./\.git.*' | xargs cat | wc -l)
³ git-log --no-merges --pretty=oneline v3.(x-1)..v3.(x) | wc -l
⁴ git diff --shortstat v3.(x-1)..v3.(x)

Linux 3.6 download

The new Linux kernel can be downloaded from and soon should become available from the worldwide network of servers that mirror the web site.

The source code is offered as tar archive compressed with Gzip, Bzip2, or XZ. The authenticity of the uncompressed tarball can be verified with a signature file that is shipped alongside it – for example, the process for Linux 3.1 would be performed with commands such as these:

[thl@thl tmp]$ wget --quiet \ \
[thl@thl tmp]$ xz -d linux-3.1.tar.xz
[thl@thl tmp]$ gpg --verify linux-3.1.tar.sign
gpg: Signature made Mon Oct 24 09:17:58 2011 CEST using RSA key ID 00411886
gpg: Good signature from "Linus Torvalds <>"
gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg: There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.
Primary key fingerprint: ABAF 11C6 5A29 70B1 30AB E3C4 79BE 3E43 0041 1886

Further background information about the developments in the Linux kernel area can be found using the search function at The H Open Source. Information about previous Linux kernel releases can be found in The H's Linux Kernel History. New editions of Kernel Logs are also mentioned on and Twitter by @kernellog2. The Kernel Log author also posts updates about various topics on and Twitter as @kernellogauthor.

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