Linus Torvalds has closed the merge window for Linux 4.3 by releasing Linux 4.3-rc1 a day earlier than the normal release cycle.

Torvalds released the 4.3-rc1 in just under 15 days after releasing the Linux 4.2 final. The Linux guru notes that he had expected kernel 4.3 to be much smaller than the big 4.2, but that’s not the case. Torvalds notes that there was a sort of rush when it came to stuff coming at him to be pulled in for Linux 4.3 and as weekends are normally calm, he wasn’t interested in keeping the merge window open for Sunday.

As far as the pull requests go, everything looks normal with about 70 per cent changes being drivers, 10 per cent being architecture updates, and the remaining 20 per cent being spread out between filesystems, networking, documentation, and “core” kernel updates among other things.

On the driver side, the GPU drivers remain a noticeable chunk, partly because of the Nouveau updates that missed 4.2, so there’s effectively two releases worth of updates there.

He adds that there are other small updates to almost all other driver subsystems including networking drivers (wired and wireless), staging, media, crypto, pinctrl, etc.

On the architecture front, Torvalds notes that about half of the updates are to do with ARM while the other 50 per cent are spread out between x86, mips, arm64, powerpc, and s390.

As far as file systems go, the bulk of the updates are to do with the removal of the ext3 filesystem. There are
some miscellaneous updates as well including those to f2fs, btrfs, nfs, xfs, ufs, gfs2, proc.