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 - Security patches should not be handled (solely) by the -stable review
  36   process but should follow the procedures in Documentation/SecurityBugs.
  38For all other submissions, choose one of the following procedures:
  40   --- Option 1 ---
  42   To have the patch automatically included in the stable tree, add the tag
  43     Cc:
  44   in the sign-off area. Once the patch is merged it will be applied to
  45   the stable tree without anything else needing to be done by the author
  46   or subsystem maintainer.
  48   --- Option 2 ---
  50   After the patch has been merged to Linus' tree, send an email to
  51 containing the subject of the patch, the commit ID,
  52   why you think it should be applied, and what kernel version you wish it to
  53   be applied to.
  55   --- Option 3 ---
  57   Send the patch, after verifying that it follows the above rules, to
  58  You must note the upstream commit ID in the
  59   changelog of your submission, as well as the kernel version you wish
  60   it to be applied to.
  62Option 1 is probably the easiest and most common. Options 2 and 3 are more
  63useful if the patch isn't deemed worthy at the time it is applied to a public
  64git tree (for instance, because it deserves more regression testing first).
  65Option 3 is especially useful if the patch needs some special handling to apply
  66to an older kernel (e.g., if API's have changed in the meantime).
  68Additionally, some patches submitted via Option 1 may have additional patch
  69prerequisites which can be cherry-picked. This can be specified in the following
  70format in the sign-off area:
  72     Cc: <> # 3.3.x: a1f84a3: sched: Check for idle
  73     Cc: <> # 3.3.x: 1b9508f: sched: Rate-limit newidle
  74     Cc: <> # 3.3.x: fd21073: sched: Fix affinity logic
  75     Cc: <> # 3.3.x
  76    Signed-off-by: Ingo Molnar <>
  78   The tag sequence has the meaning of:
  79     git cherry-pick a1f84a3
  80     git cherry-pick 1b9508f
  81     git cherry-pick fd21073
  82     git cherry-pick <this commit>
  84Following the submission:
  86 - The sender will receive an ACK when the patch has been accepted into the
  87   queue, or a NAK if the patch is rejected.  This response might take a few
  88   days, according to the developer's schedules.
  89 - If accepted, the patch will be added to the -stable queue, for review by
  90   other developers and by the relevant subsystem maintainer.
  93Review cycle:
  95 - When the -stable maintainers decide for a review cycle, the patches will be
  96   sent to the review committee, and the maintainer of the affected area of
  97   the patch (unless the submitter is the maintainer of the area) and CC: to
  98   the linux-kernel mailing list.
  99 - The review committee has 48 hours in which to ACK or NAK the patch.
 100 - If the patch is rejected by a member of the committee, or linux-kernel
 101   members object to the patch, bringing up issues that the maintainers and
 102   members did not realize, the patch will be dropped from the queue.
 103 - At the end of the review cycle, the ACKed patches will be added to the
 104   latest -stable release, and a new -stable release will happen.
 105 - Security patches will be accepted into the -stable tree directly from the
 106   security kernel team, and not go through the normal review cycle.
 107   Contact the kernel security team for more details on this procedure.
 111 - The queues of patches, for both completed versions and in progress
 112   versions can be found at:
 114 - The finalized and tagged releases of all stable kernels can be found
 115   in separate branches per version at:
 119Review committee:
 121 - This is made up of a number of kernel developers who have volunteered for
 122   this task, and a few that haven't.
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