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    SubjectRe: [RFC] Documentation: add documentation for rc-series and merge window
    On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 01:19:34PM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
    > On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 04:12:51PM -0400, Luis R. Rodriguez wrote:
    > > This is losely based on previous discussions on linux-kernel [1][2].
    > >
    > > [1]
    > > [2]
    > >
    > > Signed-off-by: Luis R. Rodriguez <>
    > > ---
    > >
    > > I have run into issues when trying to explain this and policies
    > > for the rc-series, it seems there is no place that documents this
    > > clearly so here is an attempt based on some previous discussions.
    > > Not sure if I got it all correct, so feedback is welcomed. I do think
    > > clarifying this a little should help.
    > >
    > > I was also not sure if Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt is the best
    > > splace for this as well, please let me know.
    > I don't think this is the best place for it, as the stable_* file is for
    > describing the rules for the 2.6.x.y releases, not the main 2.6.x
    > releases.
    > A new file perhaps? Or an addition to the
    > Documentation/development-process/ book?

    OK here is that, with Pavel's changes taken into consideration.

    From: Luis R. Rodriguez <>
    Subject: [PATCH] Documentation: add documentation summary for rc-series and merge window

    This is losely based on previous discussions on linux-kernel [1][2].
    Lets also refer people reading the stable rules to


    Signed-off-by: Luis R. Rodriguez <>
    Documentation/development-process/2.Process | 66 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt | 5 ++
    2 files changed, 71 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

    diff --git a/Documentation/development-process/2.Process b/Documentation/development-process/2.Process
    index d750321..e023db6 100644
    --- a/Documentation/development-process/2.Process
    +++ b/Documentation/development-process/2.Process
    @@ -7,6 +7,72 @@ course of one year, the kernel has since had to evolve a number of
    processes to keep development happening smoothly. A solid understanding of
    how the process works is required in order to be an effective part of it.

    +2.0 SUMMARY
    +This section provides a brief summary of the new kernel release rules.
    +Stable kernels are released when they are ready! This means there are
    +absolutely no strict guidelines for sticking to specific dates for a
    +kernel release.
    +2.0.1 MERGE WINDOW
    +The merge window opens up after the next stable kernel is released.
    +The merge window is when maintainers of different subsystem send pull
    +requests to Linus for code they have been queuing up for the next
    +stable kernel. This is typically now done through respective
    +foo-next-2.6.git trees where foo is your subsystem. Each maintainer
    +queues up patches for the next kernel cycle in this foo-next-2.6.git
    +tree. After the merge window the kernel is worked on through the
    +rc-series of the kernel release.
    +After a maintainer has sent his pull request to Linus during the merge
    +window no further new development will be accepted for that tree and
    +as such it marks the closure of development for that subsystem for that
    +kernel cycle. Developers wishing to target deadlines should simply work
    +on their development without regards or consideration for inclusion to
    +a specific kernel release. Once development is done it should simply be
    +posted. If you insist on targeting a kernel release for deadlines you can
    +try to be aware of the current rc cycle development and how soon it seems
    +the next stable kernel release will be made. When Linus notes the last rc
    +cycle released may be the last -- that is a good sign you should already
    +have all your development done and merged in the respective development
    +tree. If your code is not ready and merged into the respective maintainers
    +tree prior to the announced last potential rc kernel release chances are
    +you missed getting your code in for the next kernel merge window.
    +Exemptions here are new drivers, covered below.
    +2.0.2 RC-SERIES RULES
    +Rules on what kind of patches are accepted after the merge window closes.
    +These are patches targeted for the kernel rc-series of a kernel prior
    +to its release.
    + - it must fix a reported regression
    + - if must fix a reported security hole
    + - if must fix a reported oops/kernel hang
    +This means any small-non-fix code changes, although they might fix an issue,
    +will not be accepted. If the patch in question is for a driver that has been
    +around for more than a kernel release, then "small fixes" really can't be
    +worth all that much. And "small fixes" may be small and "obvious" they
    +definitely can regress.
    +The very first release a new driver (or filesystem) is special. New drivers
    +are accepted during the rc series. Patches for the same driver then are
    +also accepted during the same rc series of a kernel as well as fixes as it
    +cannot regress as no previous kernels exists with it.
    +Once drivers are upstream for one kernel release (say on 2.6.29) the target
    +*goal* after the merge window of the next kernel (respectively this would be
    +the 2.6.30 rc-series) is to address regressions. Kernel oops/hangs and security
    +issues are obviously accepted but the point is these should have also been
    +caught earlier as a general development goal. The rc-series focus should really
    +be to address regressions.


    diff --git a/Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt b/Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt
    index a452227..113e8c8 100644
    --- a/Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt
    +++ b/Documentation/stable_kernel_rules.txt
    @@ -1,5 +1,10 @@
    Everything you ever wanted to know about Linux 2.6 -stable releases.

    +For further details, such as stable kernel release schedules, rc-series
    +policies and process of development please refer to:
    Rules on what kind of patches are accepted, and which ones are not, into the
    "-stable" tree:


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