If you’ve been a fan of Linux, you probably have seen the miniscule version changes from one Linux kernel to another. As an example, there was a recent version change from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124. The current stable version of the Linux kernel is version 2.6.39 . So, what’s the reason for the big jump to version 3.0.0?
Well, nothing. It’s just the the Linus Torvalds and his kernel development team decided to jump to 3.0.0 to coincide with the 20 year anniversary of Linux. That is all. There has been big discussions about versioning within the kernel development team. Linus Torvalds finally decided to go with version 3.0.0. Here’s an excerpt from his email.
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 longer comfortably count as high as 40.
The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let’s face it – what’s the point of being in charge if you can’t pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I’m just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You’ll like it.
Now, my alpha-maleness sadly does not actually extend to all the scripts and Makefile rules, so the kernel is fighting back, and is calling itself 3.0.0-rc1. We’ll have the usual 6-7 weeks to wrestle it into submission, and get scripts etc cleaned up, and the final release should be just “3.0”. The -stable team can use the third number for their versioning.
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.
Read the rest of Linus Torvalds message here.