From the ‘Kernel Fun’ files:
Some kernel release cycles are longer than others. Such is the case with Linux 3.1 which was officially released today after 10 release candidates and a hack of kernel.org.
Yet despite those challenges, it really hasn’t been that long since the Linux 3.0 kernel release, which came out at the end of July.
While there are all kinds of interesting new performance and scalability bits in Linux 3.1, there is also something that you might not expect to see. The Linux 3.1 kernel officially includes a driver for the Nintendo Wii Remote. That’s right, you can use a WiiMote with Linux for whatever purpose you can imagine (or program).
The Linux 3.1 release also provides a numbering fix that is particularly interesting.
When Linus Torvalds made the change to 3.0, he did so as he thought that the kernel numbers were getting to be too big. As it turns out, going to the new numbering system also broke some backward compatibility for some applications that relied on having the 2.6.x. numbering scheme. “This patch adds a UNAME26 personality that makes the kernel report a 2.6.40+x version number instead,” Kernel developer Andi Kleen worte in a git commit. “The x is the x in 3.x.”