back to article Torvalds turns to Sir Mix-A-Lot for Linux versioning debate

Linus Torvalds is “running out of fingers and toes” and therefore wonders if it might be a good time to tip the Linux Kernel over into version 4.0. Torvalds has previously suggested version 4.0 could be set aside for a release dedicated entirely to bug fixes, but that idea didn't catch on. The Linux Lord has also previously …

  1. hplasm

    As long as v4.0-

    Is incompatible with systemd, I'd say go for it.

  2. jonathan1

    Interesting article...not sure about the picture...

  3. blofse

    What an arse. Boom boom.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Message to El Reg

    This story is a perfect illustration of why this new page layout is complete arse.

    Nearest thing to 'think of the boss' icon --->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Message to El Reg

      I think we need a sort of "NSFW OK" flag (read: disabled by default) that you can enable on a home browser. Just an idea.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate to be a whining prude...

    But if The Register wants me to continue reading articles while I am at work, it needs to can the idea of adding pointless risqué images to articles. Not every employer would appreciate it, and it can make for a very uncomfortable conversation if the wrong person sees it.

    1. wolfetone

      Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

      +1 from me.

      Although I looked at the photo for a good 2 minutes thinking they were boobs.

      1. Lusty

        Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

        And me. Pointless NSFW images will very quickly put me off this site.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: I hate to be a whining prude...


          What image?

          1. Blip
            Thumb Up

            Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

            To remove just the image at the top of the article in Adblock Plus add the filter


            Last time I posted this info it was moderated out.

        2. Captain DaFt

          Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

          "Pointless NSFW images will very quickly put me off this site." says Lusty.

          I must admit my brain boggled slightly at this.

      2. Hans 1

        Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

        >Although I looked at the photo for a good 2 minutes thinking they were boobs.

        I hardly looked, assumed boobs and went straight to the article. Thank you, wolfetone, for pointing out how wrong I was ;-).

        Now, I do not mind a middle finger and I work from home so no boss around ;-), however, I could not have read this article in the office without a problem or two with my female co-workers ... ;-) Besides, I do not think the boss would care, tbh, but that is just my boss, I guess ;-).

    2. jonathan1

      Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

      My boss wandered past...that was awkward.

      Not only that, its just a bit unneccessary.

    3. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

      Fair call. I may have taken the Sir Mix-a-lot thing to a stupid conclusion

    4. e^iπ+1=0

      Re: I hate to be a whining prude...

      "can the idea of adding pointless risqué images to articles"

      Try using the mobile site instead. It seems a lot of the pointless images don't make it (at least for me).

  6. wolfetone

    As we had Linux 3.11 for Workgroups, I'm looking forward to Linux 4.0 NT.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. wolfetone

        And ner a drummer blown up in the process

    2. Herbert Meyer

      why not linux 10

      level the version numbers ?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: why not linux 10


  7. jake Silver badge

    Don't do it, Torvalds.

    Save 4.0 for a major change in architecture, as usual with dotzero releases.

    ElReg: I know it's teh intrawebtubeplumbing ... butt seriously?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't do it, Torvalds.

      Care to explain how 3.0 was a major shift from later 2.6?

      It's not like the jump from 2.4 to 2.6, now that was huge. I remember 2.6.0-alpha1 fondly as it was the first time I had working sound on my crusty PII laptop.

      1. Amos

        Re: Don't do it, Torvalds.

        "Care to explain how 3.0 was a major shift from later 2.6?"

        Rumour has it 3.0 was in part a celebration of getting rid of The Big Kernel Lock. That make true multi-core support a reality.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. yossarianuk

    3.20 milestone - live kernel patching (i.e no more rebooting after updates)

    The way I read it he is thinking of making 3.20 as 4.0 ?

    If that is the case the huge milestone in that release is live kernel patching (i.e no need to reboot for a kernel update)

  10. Anonymous IV

    What happened to the animals?

    Why doesn't he call the new version Capricious Crocodile or something similar?

    But probably Ubuntu has the copyright on fatuous names...

    1. Dominion
      Paris Hilton

      Re: What happened to the animals?

      If Ubuntu has the copyright on fatuous names they need to throw a sueball at Google for using fatuous names for Android...

  11. Neil Lewis

    Running out of digits?

    How can that be? Surely everyone uses each finger or toe to represent a binary digit, so the highest number able to be represented on a standard model human is 2^20...

    1. frank ly

      Re: Running out of digits?

      This standard model human gets severe cramp if he tries some particular 'binary number' representations. I am getting old though; ah well.

  12. PartTimeLegend

    I see 4 as a rewrite of the kernel and not an incremental increase.

    If we take x.y.z as our version scheme then 4 is code base, y is feature and z is fixes. You can amend an additional octet for build number.

    I appreciate that no one ever uses version numbering the way I envision it. I can't see the first octet being changed if you aren't doing a rewrite.

    1. bigtimehustler

      The kernel is never going to be written from the ground up, some software is always a gradual evolution so in your mind they can never leave their major version ever?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Now announcing the release of Microsoft Windows 1.13 due to be released some time this year!

  13. Velv

    Linux 15

    Or Linux 2015

    Makes it appear more advanced than the other mainstream OSs. (But seriously, since it won't change yearly, it does at least give a base indication of how ancient the core is following future releases - when did "3" come out (rhetorical)).

  14. druck Silver badge


    If Linus has run out of fingers and toes for version numbers, get an ABACUS!

  15. elDog

    Tell him (Linus) to grow a couple

    A couple more digits, that is.

    Also I guess I didn't see the offending images. Perhaps a mental block in an older man or perhaps an adBlock.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Versioning Standard

    This is the perfect time to create a Versioning Standard. X.Y.Z increment Z when bugs are fixed. Increment Y when features are added. increment X when stability is achieved. source code is not altered when X is incremented.

  17. bigtimehustler

    I don't see how versions matter, I wouldn't mind seeing version 53245 myself. They serve no purpose, each release should point to a change list anyway. End users really don't care, they should be notified an update is available and have it applied, not bothering them with the version. Tech people should refer to the change list to see how important it is, not guess from which number changed in the version.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends, some projects use a source control system that generates nice human-friendly numbers (e.g. Subversion), others generate a hash?

      The following statements are equivalent:

      - I am running Linux kernel 906d77a3c6c0578ccb1834875ab53360777b7ff3

      - I am running Linux kernel 3.17.2

      Which is easier from a human-perspective? As it happens I track the linux-stable branch (git:// If the main branch were to use just ordinal numbers, what does the stable branch use?

      Seems like the dot is a pretty easy way to separate parts of the version number, and it's not difficult to go into a git clone directory and type:

      RC=0 stuartl@rikishi /usr/src/linux-stable $ git log v3.17..v3.17.2 --oneline

      906d77a Linux 3.17.2

      29e7431 sparc64: Implement __get_user_pages_fast().

      3ecc3b8 sparc64: Fix register corruption in top-most kernel stack frame during boot.

      5cf02ef sparc64: Increase size of boot string to 1024 bytes

      5c51a8b sparc64: Kill unnecessary tables and increase MAX_BANKS.

      82f230e sparc64: sparse irq

      0c64120 sparc64: Adjust vmalloc region size based upon available virtual address bits.

      004f665 sparc64: Increase MAX_PHYS_ADDRESS_BITS to 53.

      1bbd677 sparc64: Use kernel page tables for vmemmap.

      92566c4 sparc64: Fix physical memory management regressions with large max_phys_bits.

      73bf1d0 sparc64: Adjust KTSB assembler to support larger physical addresses.

      498db9c sparc64: Define VA hole at run time, rather than at compile time.

      665fae7 sparc64: Switch to 4-level page tables.


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the point of a bugfix only release?

    Isn't that what the LTS kernels are for? I suppose the idea is to get everyone focused on bug fixes, but what will happen is that a lot of kernel guys will take the time to develop even more aggressive changes than usual. The release after the bugfix only release will be extra unstable and it'll take another release cycle or two to recover from that!

  19. davidp231

    Will there....

    be different versions?

    Linux Kernel 95

    LInux Kernel 4.0 Workstation

    Linux Kernal 4.0 Server

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will there....

      Well, there was LinuxCE.

      What would one otherwise call µCLinux…Linux Kernel Starter Edition?

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