1Everything you ever wanted to know about Linux -stable releases.
   3Rules on what kind of patches are accepted, and which ones are not, into the
   4"-stable" tree:
   6 - It must be obviously correct and tested.
   7 - It cannot be bigger than 100 lines, with context.
   8 - It must fix only one thing.
   9 - It must fix a real bug that bothers people (not a, "This could be a
  10   problem..." type thing).
  11 - It must fix a problem that causes a build error (but not for things
  12   marked CONFIG_BROKEN), an oops, a hang, data corruption, a real
  13   security issue, or some "oh, that's not good" issue.  In short, something
  14   critical.
  15 - Serious issues as reported by a user of a distribution kernel may also
  16   be considered if they fix a notable performance or interactivity issue.
  17   As these fixes are not as obvious and have a higher risk of a subtle
  18   regression they should only be submitted by a distribution kernel
  19   maintainer and include an addendum linking to a bugzilla entry if it
  20   exists and additional information on the user-visible impact.
  21 - New device IDs and quirks are also accepted.
  22 - No "theoretical race condition" issues, unless an explanation of how the
  23   race can be exploited is also provided.
  24 - It cannot contain any "trivial" fixes in it (spelling changes,
  25   whitespace cleanups, etc).
  26 - It must follow the Documentation/SubmittingPatches rules.
  27 - It or an equivalent fix must already exist in Linus' tree (upstream).
  30Procedure for submitting patches to the -stable tree:
  32 - If the patch covers files in net/ or drivers/net please follow netdev stable
  33   submission guidelines as described in
  34   Documentation/networking/netdev-FAQ.txt
  35 - Send the patch, after verifying that it follows the above rules, to
  36  You must note the upstream commit ID in the
  37   changelog of your submission, as well as the kernel version you wish
  38   it to be applied to.
  39 - To have the patch automatically included in the stable tree, add the tag
  40     Cc:
  41   in the sign-off area. Once the patch is merged it will be applied to
  42   the stable tree without anything else needing to be done by the author
  43   or subsystem maintainer.
  44 - If the patch requires other patches as prerequisites which can be
  45   cherry-picked than this can be specified in the following format in
  46   the sign-off area:
  48     Cc: <> # 3.3.x: a1f84a3: sched: Check for idle
  49     Cc: <> # 3.3.x: 1b9508f: sched: Rate-limit newidle
  50     Cc: <> # 3.3.x: fd21073: sched: Fix affinity logic
  51     Cc: <> # 3.3.x
  52    Signed-off-by: Ingo Molnar <>
  54   The tag sequence has the meaning of:
  55     git cherry-pick a1f84a3
  56     git cherry-pick 1b9508f
  57     git cherry-pick fd21073
  58     git cherry-pick <this commit>
  60 - The sender will receive an ACK when the patch has been accepted into the
  61   queue, or a NAK if the patch is rejected.  This response might take a few
  62   days, according to the developer's schedules.
  63 - If accepted, the patch will be added to the -stable queue, for review by
  64   other developers and by the relevant subsystem maintainer.
  65 - Security patches should not be sent to this alias, but instead to the
  66   documented address.
  69Review cycle:
  71 - When the -stable maintainers decide for a review cycle, the patches will be
  72   sent to the review committee, and the maintainer of the affected area of
  73   the patch (unless the submitter is the maintainer of the area) and CC: to
  74   the linux-kernel mailing list.
  75 - The review committee has 48 hours in which to ACK or NAK the patch.
  76 - If the patch is rejected by a member of the committee, or linux-kernel
  77   members object to the patch, bringing up issues that the maintainers and
  78   members did not realize, the patch will be dropped from the queue.
  79 - At the end of the review cycle, the ACKed patches will be added to the
  80   latest -stable release, and a new -stable release will happen.
  81 - Security patches will be accepted into the -stable tree directly from the
  82   security kernel team, and not go through the normal review cycle.
  83   Contact the kernel security team for more details on this procedure.
  87 - The queues of patches, for both completed versions and in progress
  88   versions can be found at:
  90 - The finalized and tagged releases of all stable kernels can be found
  91   in separate branches per version at:
  95Review committee:
  97 - This is made up of a number of kernel developers who have volunteered for
  98   this task, and a few that haven't.
  99 kindly hosted by Redpill Linpro AS, provider of Linux consulting and operations services since 1995.