In an email entitled "Ho ho ho... Linux 2.6.15-rc7", Torvalds asked people to use their free time over the Christmas period to look at the new release candidate.
"Now, most of you are probably going to be totally bored out of your minds on Christmas Day, and here's the perfect distraction. Test 2.6.15-rc7. All the stores will be closed, and there's really nothing better to do in between meals," said Torvalds, in a posting to the Linux kernel mailing list.
With many people off work between Christmas and New Year, there's still time for Torvalds to attract more help. The final release of version 2.6.15 of the Linux kernel is expected before the end of December, according to an earlier posting by Torvalds.
2.6.15 is expected to include a number of improvements, including new Ethernet drivers, basic support for hot-pluggable memory and an update to the Infiniband functionality, according to Linux news site LWN.net.
ZDNet UK's Ingrid Marson reported from London. For more coverage from ZDNet UK, click here.