Linux Kernel 5.11 "Valentine's Day" released and 5.12 development delayed

The Linux Kernel 5.11 was officially tagged and released on February 14th 2021 and nicknamed "Valentine's Day Edition", as can be seen in the last commit by Linus Torvalds:

Linux Kernel 5.11 nicknamed "Valentine's Day Edition"

In the unspectacular short 5.11 release message, nothing really fancy stands out. But according to an article by Phoronix, the 5.11 Kernel is a performance booster, in particular for AMD Zen 2 and Zen 3 chips (which are used by Ryzen and Epyc processors).

But what about the Valentine's Day note? Was Torvalds just being a romantic on this particular day? Or did he forget a present for his wife? We probably won't know for a while, because Torvalds is cut off the Internet.

Development on Kernel 5.12 stopped due to severe weather

You may wonder how can a purely remote and "virtual product" be impacted by weather? All Kernel development finally merges into the "mainline" Kernel, which is maintained by Torvalds himself. Even though many commits are green-lighted by the branch maintainers and therefore helping Torvalds enormously doing a code merge decision, the merges need to be done by Torvalds.

This means if Torvalds is on vacation or for other reasons unavailable, merging patches into the mainline Kernel is halted. And this is the case right now, as the state of Oregon in the United States (where Torvalds lives), currently experiences severe weather conditions and Torvalds was cut off the grid.

A Tweet by Steven Rostedt, who is also a Kernel developer, mentions that Torvalds needed to walk towards a cell phone tower to be able to communicate with fellow Kernel developers.

Due to the fact that the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) does not accept HTML-formatted e-mails, his e-mails sent by his phone don't make it into the LKML either.

Claudio Kuenzler
Claudio has been writing way over 1000 articles on his own blog since 2008 already. He is fascinated by technology, especially Open Source Software. As a Senior Systems Engineer he has seen and solved a lot of problems - and writes about them.

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  1. […] Kernel 5.12 started with a bumpy road, as chief maintainer Linus Torvalds had to battle against power outages in his living area. But development has continued and Kernel development is back on the […]

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