A host of small modifications and a large number of system-on-a-chip and PowerPC fixes inflated the size of release candidate No. 7 for Version 3.5 of the Linux kernel, according to curator Linus Torvalds' RC7 announcement, made on Saturday.
LAST TIME AROUND: Linux kernel 3.4 released
Torvalds wasn't happy with the extensive changes, most of which he said he received Friday and Saturday, saying "not cool, guys" in the announcement. However, the occasionally combustible kernel curator didn't appear to view this as a major setback.
"Now, admittedly, most of this is pretty small. The loadavg calculation fix patch is pretty big, but quite a lot of that is added comments," he wrote, referring to the subroutine that measures system workload.
However, he noted, there were also the assorted changes for SoCs, PowerPC compatibility, USB and audio to be folded in, forcing a comparatively large RC7.
"Ok, so it's still not *huge*, but it's bigger than -rc6 was. I had hoped for less," wrote Torvalds.
He also hopes that it won't be necessary to deploy an eighth release candidate before Version 3.5 of the kernel can be properly rolled out, and urged the community to "go forth and test."
Among the biggest new features expected in Linux 3.5 is enhanced compatibility with the ARM processor family, which are used in a wide array of low-cost computing devices. Several ARM-related fixes are part of 3.5-RC7, according to the official announcement email and changelog.
The H-Online reported earlier today that the final version of Linux 3.5 should be deployed next weekend, if all goes well with RC7.