Torvalds admits Linux kernel concerns

The founder of Linux says that fears that its kernel is getting buggier are 'certainly real'

Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux and maintainer of the development kernel, has agreed with his second-in-command, Andrew Morton, that the Linux kernel is becoming more bug-ridden.

Morton, the maintainer of the production kernel, said in a talk at the LinuxTag conference in Germany last week that he thought the 2.6 kernel was "slowly getting buggier". Morton said he may initiate a bug-fix only kernel cycle, which will be used to fix long-standing bugs.

Torvalds agreed with Morton's comments in an interview with news site Linux.com, which was published on Monday. "The worry is certainly real. We've had a distinct lack of a "breather" when it comes to development lately," said Torvalds.

The bug-fix kernel cycle may come along sooner than expected, with Torvalds suggesting that he may try to stabilise the current version of the kernel — 2.6.16.

"It may end up that 2.6.16 becomes that breather, simply because a lot of the commercial folks seem to end up using that as the base, and they'll be hunkering down to stabilize that," said Torvalds. "Otherwise, we may end up just saying, 'OK, no new features for 2.6.18' or something, and forcing people to calm down a bit." 

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