What Is the Schedule of The Linux Kernel?


The Linux kernel, the heart of the open-source Linux operating system, is known for its robustness and continuous development. If you’re curious about the schedule of the Linux kernel and want to understand the inner workings of its release cycles, this article is your go-to guide. In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll delve into the intricate details of Linux kernel development, release strategies, and more.

What is the Linux Kernel?

Before we dive into the schedule of the Linux kernel, it’s essential to grasp the basics. The Linux kernel serves as the core component of the Linux operating system. It manages hardware resources, communicates with user-level processes, and enables a seamless computing experience.

Kernel Versioning

Understanding the Linux kernel versioning system is crucial. It follows a format like “X.Y.Z,” where X represents the major version, Y denotes the minor version, and Z signifies the patch level. New features and improvements are introduced with each version increment.

Linux Kernel Development Process

Linux kernel development is a well-organized and collaborative effort involving developers worldwide. Let’s explore the stages of this intricate process:

1. Mainline Development

The mainline development branch is where the magic happens. Developers continuously submit patches and enhancements to the mainline kernel tree, which is maintained by Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux.

2. Release Candidates

Before a stable release, several release candidates (RC) are issued. These RC versions undergo rigorous testing, and developers fix any reported issues. This iterative process ensures a stable final release.

3. Stable Releases

Stable releases occur roughly every two to three months. They incorporate the accumulated changes from the mainline branch and RC versions. These releases are considered production-ready and are adopted by various Linux distributions.

4. Long-Term Support (LTS)

Certain kernel versions are designated as Long-Term Support (LTS) releases. They receive extended maintenance and security updates for several years, making them ideal for enterprises and critical systems.

Release Schedule

To understand the Linux kernel’s schedule, we need to delve into its predictable release cycle:

1. Release Every Two to Three Months

As previously mentioned, stable releases occur every two to three months. This regularity ensures that new features and improvements reach users promptly.

2. Patch Level Updates

Between stable releases, patch level updates address critical issues or security vulnerabilities. These updates are released as needed to maintain system stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the first Linux kernel released?

The first Linux kernel, version 0.01, was released by Linus Torvalds in 1991.

How many developers contribute to the Linux kernel?

Thousands of developers worldwide contribute to the Linux kernel, making it one of the most collaborative open-source projects.

Are all Linux kernel versions suitable for production use?

While the latest stable releases are generally safe for production, Long-Term Support (LTS) versions are recommended for mission-critical systems.

Can I contribute to Linux kernel development?

Absolutely! Linux kernel development is open to contributions from anyone interested in improving the kernel.

What is the most recent stable Linux kernel version?

As of the latest update, the most recent stable Linux kernel version is 5.15.

How can I stay updated with Linux kernel releases?

You can stay informed about Linux kernel releases by subscribing to the official Linux kernel mailing list or visiting the kernel.org website regularly.

What is the schedule of the Linux kernel?

The Linux kernel scheduler manages the execution of processes and determines which process runs next.

What does schedule() do in Linux?

The schedule() function in Linux is responsible for selecting the next runnable process to execute on the CPU.

How is scheduler invoked in Linux kernel?

The scheduler in the Linux kernel is typically invoked when a process voluntarily gives up the CPU or when a timer interrupt occurs, causing a context switch.


In conclusion, the schedule of the Linux kernel is a well-organized process that ensures regular updates, bug fixes, and enhancements. Understanding this schedule is essential for Linux enthusiasts, developers, and system administrators. Whether you’re using Linux for personal projects or in a professional capacity, keeping up with the kernel’s release cycle will help you make informed decisions and ensure the stability and security of your systems.

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