Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.16-rc5 and while things look normal at this point, he has announced that this 5.16 cycle will last longer due to the Christmas / New Year holidays.
Torvalds noted in tonight’s release announcement, “So everything seems pretty normal. This rc5 might be a little bigger than usual, but it’s not like it’s breaking any records. I blame people trying to get things done before the holidays, and / or just random timing effects. Either way, I expect things to calm down over the next few weeks, but we’ll see. As for rc5, the patch is dominated by drivers (network, sound, hid, rdma, usb … and lots of other random things) and autotest updates (bpf, kvm and network). The rest is pretty hit and miss – filesystems (cifs, btrfs, tracefs), kernel kernel, and network. Some fixes to the new Damon virtual address space monitoring code.“
In Announcement 5.16-rc5, he went on to note that while things are going well, he will extend the cycle for an additional week. Linux 5.16 should be ready for release towards the end of the year, but with many developers taking time off due to the Christmas and New Years holidays, that translates to less development work as well as tests. Thus, it proactively announces the extension of the Linux 5.16 cycle to avoid causing conflicts with opening the Linux 5.17 merge window.
Linux 5.16 will be released in early January and introduces many new features and improvements. Linux 5.16 performs well overall, other than the schedule changes supporting x86 clusters still pending, so this feature is not enabled by default for Alder Lake to correct this performance regression. Other than that, things are going well and I will continue my daily Linux testing over the holidays and New Years.