Linux 5.4-rc7 was just released as the newest test candidate of the maturing Linux 5.4 kernel. At this stage it’s looking like an eighth weekly RC will be warranted next weekend before officially releasing Linux 5.4.0 on 24 November.
Linus hasn’t firmly decided on doing a Linux 5.4-rc8 release rather than going straight from here to Linux 5.4.0, but it’s looking that way due to the uptick in changes late in the cycle. Torvalds noted in the rc7 announcement, “It’s all over the place – about 55% is drivers (and that’s ignoring the vboxsf thing), the rest is networking, misc filesystem fixes (octfs2, btrfs, ceph), arch updates (x86, arm64), tooling fixes, and some core kernel and vm fixes. Nothing looks _bad_, but there is too much of it.“
Notable for Linux 5.4-rc7 is VirtualBox Guest Shared Folder Support coming as a late addition with the “vboxsf” kernel driver making it into the staging area of the kernel. While the merge window for Linux 5.4 has long passed, this new driver is allowed as it doesn’t risk regressing any existing support. Also in Linux 5.4-rc7 is a “critical” scheduler fix among other bug/regression fixes.
See our Linux 5.4 feature overview to learn about all the new changes at large. Following the Linux 5.4 release in the next week or two is then the exciting Linux 5.5 merge window.
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