Linux Kernel closes in on 10M git objects

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Linus Torvalds has announced version 6.8 of the Linux Kernel, inching ever closer to a major milestone in the project’s codebase. In his announcement on Sunday, Torvalds noted that the git repository tracking the kernel’s development now contains 9.996 million objects.

“This is the last mainline kernel to have less than ten million git objects,” Torvalds wrote, though he was quick to add, “Of course, there is absolutely nothing special about it apart from a nice round number. Git doesn’t care.”

The latest kernel release came after a slightly protracted development cycle. “It took a bit longer for the commit counts to come down this release than I tend to prefer,” Torvalds admitted, attributing the high commit volume to “various selftest updates (networking in particular) rather than any actual real sign of problems.”

Despite the high commit rate, Torvalds felt the final two weeks were “pretty quiet” and saw no reason to delay version 6.8 further by issuing an eighth release candidate.

While hitting 10 million git objects is little more than a numerical curiosity, the 6.8 kernel release does contain some significant additions. Chief among them is a new experimental Xe DRM driver for Intel GPUs, whether integrated into CPUs or standalone devices.

Other major changes include support for Amazon Web Services’ Nitro isolation technology, which offloads security and networking tasks to a SmartNIC. A new driver exposes Nitro’s hardware capabilities to the Linux kernel, allowing guests to leverage its services.

The kernel also improves support for the Raspberry Pi 5’s graphics hardware and adds compatibility for Nintendo’s Switch Online controllers.

Torvalds closed out his announcement by calling on the kernel development community to thoroughly test version 6.8 while work begins on version 6.9, for which pull requests are already being accepted.

As the Linux kernel’s codebase rapidly approaches 10 million objects, it serves as a testament to the longevity and continued development of one of computing’s most important and collaborative open source projects.

(Photo by Lukas on Unsplash)

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