Linus Torvalds usually releases the new versions of the kernel that he develops on Sunday. This week has been different, since Linux 5.4-rc4 has been released on Saturday. To avoid worrying or any kind of speculation, the first thing that the father of Linux explains in the this week's note is the reason for this advance: I simply had a flight whose trip coincided with the usual time of the launch of the new version.
Torvalds says that yes, it is true that other times he has launched the new version from the plane, but this time it was not necessary. He looked at his email, saw that there were no proposals, and thought "don't put off what you can do today until tomorrow." Everything about Linux 5.4 it is being very calm, so there is no reason not to relax a bit. And that he did.
Linux 5.2-rc4 continues to navigate in calm waters
Once again, the size of a Release Candidate has varied and Linux 5.2-rc4 is smaller than rc3. The normal thing is that the increase in size arrives in the rc2 and the rc3 is compressed, but the rc2 did not arrive with important changes that made it grow. Therefore, the size change has been shifted a week and the reduction came 6 days later than it should. Torvalds hopes that from now on, everything will be compressed a little more with each new release.
Regarding the changes, they continue to highlight las SPDX conversions and make the difference somewhat outrageous:
They don't affect the actual code, so it's not like we're going to have some problem with them, but it makes the patch stats look like a a little weird. There are many more files changed than is normal in the "rc phase", and more than 90% of the modified file list comes from the SPDX. Of course, changes in SPDX also account for more than 95% of las lines removed in rc4, so I'm not complaining.
The rest of the changes are spread over architecture updates (arm64, mips, parisc and nds32), various random driver updates, network and file system fixes (ceph, ovlfs and xfs). Few notable changes (between versions) and a lot of tranquility. Hopefully the official release continues to navigate the calm waters in which the RC versions of Linux 5.2 move.