In the release notes to Version 3.5.6 of the Linux kernel, maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman warned users that there would likely be only one more version of that branch of the kernel, and that users should get ready to move to the 3.6 branch as soon as possible.
MORE LINUX: A Linux user switches to DOS, Part Two
Kroah-Hartman said in an email, however, that the process should be relatively painless.
"We do a new kernel release every 3 months, moving to a new one should not be a big deal at all, we have been doing this for over 8 years, so I think people are pretty used to it by now," he wrote.
Softpedia highlights new support for the TIAO USB multi-protocol adapter -- a hobbyist tool used to tinker with various electronic devices, including wireless routers and Xbox 360s -- and a number of other compatibility and bug fixes as key features of kernel Version 3.5.6.
The development process for Version 3.5 was not without hiccups, requiring no less than seven release candidate versions, the last of which prompted maintainer Linus Torvalds to chide developers for its excessive size. It was eventually deployed in late July.
Version 3.6 of the kernel was released earlier this month, featuring enhancements to the btrfs file system, virtualization capability, power management and several other upgrades, according to an analysis from The H Online.
Based on the current pace of new releases, Version 3.7 should be rolled out sometime in January 2013. Improved support for ARM-powered hardware is expected to be a highlight, as ARM devices continue to proliferate.
Email Jon Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.