Here are some questions we routinely receive about kernel release
versions. See also the main "FAQ" section for some other topics.
When is the next mainline kernel version going to be released?
Linux kernel follows a simple release cadence:
- after each mainline release, there is a 2-week "merge window" period
during which new major features are introduced into the kernel
- after the merge window closes, there is a is a 7-week bugfix and
stabilization period with weekly "release candidate" snapshots
- rc7 is usually the last release candidate, though occasionally there
may be additional rc8+ releases if that is deemed necessary
So, to find the approximate date of the next mainline kernel release,
take the date of the previous mainline release and add 9-10 weeks.
What is the next longterm release going to be?
Longterm kernels are picked based on various factors -- major new
features, popular commercial distribution needs, device manufacturer
demand, maintainer workload and availability, etc. You can roughly
estimate when the new longterm version will become available based on
how much time has elapsed since the last longterm version was chosen.
Does the odd-even number still mean anything?
A long time ago Linux used a system where odd numbers after the first
dot indicated pre-release, development kernels (e.g. 2.1, 2.3, 2.5).
This scheme was abandoned after the release of kernel 2.6 and these days
pre-release kernels are indicated with "-rc".