Update:Today 07-22-2011 Linux Kernel 3.0 is released. Get the source code here

Recently Linus Torvalds announced he is going to release kernel 3.0 instead of kernel 2.6.40. My career started with 2.6 version kernel and 2.x.x is there in the market for almost 15 years(2.0 is released on 9 June 1996) for now. here is the 2.x.x kernels. Some of noted kernels are as below.


  • Version 2 of Linux, released on 9 June 1996
  • 25 January 1999 – Linux 2.2.0 was released (1,800,847 lines of code).
  • 18 December 1999 – IBM mainframe patches for 2.2.13 were published, allowing Linux to use on enterprise-class machines.
  • 4 January 2001 – Linux 2.4.0 was released (3,377,902 lines of code).
  • 17 December 2003 – Linux 2.6.0 was released (5,929,913 lines of code).
  • 19 May 2011 – Linux 2.6.39 was released (14,619,185 lines of code).[16]


Is there any major changes from present 2.6.39 to 3.0 kernel?

We can say almost nil. Linus Torvalds want to just refresh the numbering to coincide with 20 years Linux creation(In Aug 1991 first Linux released to internet), nothing more than that. But there are some minor updates as given below and detailed update can found here:

  • From now kernel number is 2 digit(3.x) instead of 3 digit(2.x.x)
  • a Microsoft Linux Kinect driver
  • Improved support to WIFI

Some words from Linus Torvalds on the release

“We are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here, No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We’ve been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one (“20 years”) instead.”

What is a Kernel?

A kernel is core of Operating System which acts as bridge between applications and hardware.

What is GNU/Linux?

It’s a combination of Linux Kernel released by Linux Torvald and free tools/app released under GNU. Most of the Linux OS available in market are GNU/Linux

What is the numbering convention followed by Linux kernel till today?

it’s numbering is divided in to 3 parts as X.Y.Z where X for kernel number, Y for Major release and Z for minor release

What is the present beta release for Linux Kernel 3.0?

At present it’s Linux Kernel 3.0 rc2

What is the expected date of Linux Kernel 3.0 release?

Its released on 07-22-2011.

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Mr Surendra Anne is from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is a Linux/Open source supporter who believes in Hard work, A down to earth person, Likes to share knowledge with others, Loves dogs, Likes photography. He works as Devops Engineer with Taggle systems, an IOT automatic water metering company, Sydney . You can contact him at surendra (@) linuxnix dot com.