Though Linux kernels iterate at a rapid rate with new features, the numbering system has not advanced as quickly. Linux 2.x was first released in 1996 and the most recent Linux kernel came from the 2.6.x branch, which debuted in 2003. Now Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux, has arbitrarily decided that it’s time for Linux 3.0.
The last Linux 2.6.x kernel was the 2.6.39 release, which came out in mid-May. Torvalds noted last week that having 2.6.40 was too big a number and he was considering moving to Linux 2.8.
That discussion morphed into a Linux 3.0 discussion as a milestone release signifying the third decade of Linux. This year, Linux is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the debut of the open source operating system.
“I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0,” Torvalds wrote in a mailing list posting.