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Linus Torvalds releases ‘big enough’ Linux 4.9 candidate

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Linux 4.9 RC4

Linus Torvalds has brought the fourth release candidate (RC) of Linux 4.9 kernel. The new RC is touted to be a “big enough” release.

While the public release of Linux 4.9 is still a few weeks away, Torvalds, 46, is happier with the newly RC4. “So I am not going to lie: this is not a small RC, and I would have been happier if it was. But it is not unreasonably large for this (big) release either, so it is not like I would start worrying,” he wrote in a community email.

The Linux 4.9 RC4 includes some of the major changes for hardware drivers. Mainly, there are upgrades for networking as well as media and GPU. The release also brings some architecture updates for systems based on x86, SPARC, MIPS and PA-RISC alongside changes to filesystems and tests. Besides, there are several bug fixes and performance improvements over the RC3 that was debuted just a couple of weeks ago.

Traditional seven RCs ahead of final version

Torvalds suggests that the latest release is not a sign for the launch of the final Linux 4.9. In fact, the American-Finnish software engineer is presuming the usual seven-RC cycle ahead of the next kernel version.

The first RC of the upcoming kernel was released following the launch of Linux 4.8 last month. It brought contributions from over 1,500 developers.