Linux Version 3.7 Released

It took a little longer than Linus Torvalds would have liked, but after a last minute delay and an extra Release Candidate (RC) release, Linux 3.7 is all polished up and out in final form. Torvalds initially hoped to roll out Linux 3.7 last week, but said he was "uncomfortable" with the release candidate due to some last-minute issues, most notably the resurrection of a kswapd issue. That prompted him to build an eighth RC.

"Whee. After an extra RC release, 3.7 is now out. After a few more trials at fixing things, in the end we ended up reverting the kswapd changes that caused problems. And with the extra RC, I had decided to risk doing the buffer.c cleanups that would otherwise have just been marked for stable during the next merge window, and had enough time to fix a few problems that people found there too," Torvalds posted on a message board.

Open Source Simpson

One of the last-minute issues Torvalds cleaned up was a SCSI driver bug. Other than that, he says he stomped out a few networking bugs and fixed some trivial networking issues for SPARC and MIPS.

Anyway, it's been a somewhat drawn out release despite the 3.7 merge window having otherwise appeared pretty straightforward, and none of the RCs were all that big either," Torvalds added. "But we're done, and this means that the merge window will close on Christmas eve. Or rather, I'll probably close it a couple of days early."

Some of the things Linux 3.7 bring to the table are NVIDIA graphics drivers, support for 64-bit ARM instructions, the ability for Ext4 to resize volumes of more than 16TB, SMAP (supervisor mode access prevention) support, the ability to sign kernel modules and verify those signature, and more.