A few moments ago, Linus Torvalds announced the availability of the eighth and last RC (Release Candidate) development build of the upcoming Linux 4.9 kernel series for Linux-based operating systems.

According to Linus Torvalds, work on Linux kernel 4.9 is almost finished, and while things have not been so bad during its entire development cycle, the need for an eighth Release Candidate was imperative to ensure everything is well-tested and polished before the Linux 4.9 kernel series gets promoted to the stable channel.

“So if anybody has been following the git tree, it should come as no surprise that I ended up doing an rc8 after all: things haven’t been bad, but it also hasn’t been the complete quiet that would have made me go ‘no point in doing another week’,” said Linus Torvalds in the mailing list announcement.

Linux kernel 4.9 to be unveiled on December 11, 2016

Linux kernel 4.9 Release Candidate 8 (RC8) is here to patch the annoying “modversions do not work with new versions of binutils” issue, which represents a total of 163 small fixes implemented in this development version, but there are also networking fixes for error path leaks, updated drivers, and other small core kernel, filesystems, and VM improvements.

That being said, the final release of Linux kernel 4.9 will hit the streets next week, on December 11, and after that date, it will soon be adopted by various rolling release distributions like Solus, Arch Linux, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Until then, we invite users to download the Linux kernel 4.9 RC8 source archive from kernel.org and take it for a test drive. Please remember, though, that this is a pre-release version, so don’t replace your stable kernel build with it.