On Tuesday night, Linus Torvalds released Linux 2.6.33-rc3, the third release candidate of Linux version 2.6.33. The forthcoming version is expected to be finalised in early March and this release candidate offers a smaller number of changes than is usual at this point in the development cycle – it seems that some of the kernel hackers took some time off over Christmas.
However, most of the important new features of the next version in the Linux main development line were already integrated by Torvalds and his fellow programmers in the "merge window" phase at the start of the development cycle. As it is uncommon for newly integrated items to be discarded again in the current second phase, the Kernel Log can already provide a comprehensive overview of the most important new features of Linux 2.6.33.
To avoid being swamped by the wealth of advancements, the Kernel Log will provide the overview in its usual multi-part series of articles that together discuss the kernel's various functional areas.