The final 5.16 release of the Linux kernel has been delayed by a few weeks and will not take place until early January. Linus Torvalds announces this in response to the rc6 version.
In the release notes for the rc6 version of the v5.16 Linux kernel, the Linux guru states that the final release will be early 2022. This is probably around January 9 of the coming year.
Reason for porting the final release of the 5.16 version of the Linux kernel is the current time of year with the different holidays. Many developers are now on vacation and there is no point in releasing the kernel version if no one is going to use it right away. Torvalds does indicate that an additional rc8 version of the 5.6 version will appear sometime these weeks.
Updates in rc6 version
According to the Linux guru, the improvements in the rc6 kernel release are limited. Most of the improvements in functionality are in drivers, among other things. Mainly these are drivers for networking, USB and GPUs. Also, bpf self-test additions are now baked in.
Other important additions in the rc6 version are so-called ‘arch’ updates. These are mainly dts files, so they also count as driver updates. Other updates include x86 kvm fixes, powerpc, s390, mips fixes, and ARM soc fixes. There are also improvements for filesystems (btrfs, ceph and ciph) and core kernel updates for mainly networking.