A day early than expected, Linus Torvalds released the fifth Release Candidate of the upcoming Linux 4.15 kernel for testing, just before the Christmas holidays.

Because it’s almost Christmas, and the end of the year holidays are here, most Linux kernel developers took a short vacation to be with their family and friends, so Linux kernel 4.15 RC5 ended up being fairly normal, according to Linus Torvalds, except for an ongoing and noticeable merging of the x86 low-level preparation for kernel page table isolation. So a third of the RC5 patch is x86 updates.

“Ok, so it’s not Sunday yet, but tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and while I’ve been in the US for over two decades, we still celebrate Christmas the only _right_ way – with Christmas Eve being the big day, and Christmas Day being just for recovery. So I’m doing the RC5 release a day early, in order to not have to do it during the actual Christmas festivities at our house,” said Linus Torvalds.

Linux kernel 4.15 Release Candidate 6 coming end of the year

Besides the x86 updates, the fifth Release Candidate of Linux kernel 4.15 contains mostly updated drivers, various networking improvements for Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) and selftests, as well some fixes for the XFS file system. You should study the appended shortlog to Linus Torvalds’ mailing list announcement if you’re curious to know what exactly was changed in this release.

Meanwhile, you can download the Linux kernel 4.15 RC5 source tarball from kernel.org or via our software portal if you want to spend your Christmas testing the upcoming kernel, but please keep in mind not to replace your stable kernel with this pre-release version. The sixth Release Candidate of Linux kernel 4.15 is expected to arrive by the end of the year.