Big, huge, massive

Linux 4.2-rc1 is the biggest release candidate ever

Natali Vlatko
Oversize image via Shutterstock

One million new lines of code have graced the Linux kernel, with 4.2-rc1 shipping as the biggest release candidate ever. While a quarter of a million lines were removed, 4.2-rc1 is still massive in size.

Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.2-rc1 to the masses and it comes with a shedload of code. Although this release candidate doesn’t have the highest number of commits ever, at over one million lines of code it definitely comes in as the biggest in terms of sheer volume.

Big load of code

4.2-rc1 takes top spot over 3.11-rc1 as the most massive release, with 3.11 seeing the introduction of the Lustre filesystem to the staging tree. The release candidate’s new coding bulk belongs to the new driver register description headers, plus the AMD GPU driver itself, which will support the Radeon R9 285 “Tonga” and all future GPUs.

Prior to the Linux 4.2 merge window opening, the code-base was reported at being over 19.5 million lines of code.

A whopping 50% of the code is taken up by the new graphics driver, which Torvalds states places them in a “somewhat odd situation where a single driver is about half of the whole rc1 in number of lines”. It’s unlikely that the final 4.2 shipment will get any bigger, either:

Just counting pure commits, it is indeed one of the bigger rc1’s in recent history, but 3.10-rc1 was almost as big, and then the final 3.10 grew from that more than most. I doubt we’ll match the 3.10 release, since we have been getting progressively better at *not* merging tons of stuff after -rc1.

Also included in the release candidate is the newly cleaned up Renesas H8/300 architecture, plus some added support. Low-level x86 changes also made the cut, with source code reorganisation for x86 entry code and FPU handling cleanups.

SEE ALSO: Linux news – Systemd for Debian 8, Linux 6.7 Beta from Red Hat and more

Torvalds notes that the changes to the low-level x86 code are “fairly unusual”, thanks to this code being labelled as stable and thus rarely subject to change.

Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for (S&S Media Group).

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments