Linux Kernel 3.9 RC7 Now Available for Download, Fixes Critical and Rare 32-bit PAE Bug

With this new Release Candidate, the final version of the 3.9 branch is imminent

By on April 15th, 2013 07:59 GMT

Linus Torvalds has announced the immediate availability of the seventh release candidate in the 3.9 branch of the Linux kernel.

The Release Candidate interval for the new 3.9 is slowly getting to a close, and the final version should arrive soon. Even so, this latest release comes with a lot of fixes and commits.

The most interesting change in Linux kernel 3.9 RC7, at least according to Linus Torvalds, seem to be a fix for very particular bug that only affected the 32-bit PAE architecture.

“This is mostly random one-liners, with a few slightly larger driver fixes. The most interesting (to me, probably to nobody else) fix is a fix for a rather subtle TLB invalidate bug that only hits 32-bit PAE due to the weird way that works. Even then it only hits you if you have some particularly insane mapping patterns,” stated Linus Torvalds in the official announcement.

Moreover, the Linux developers suspect that this bug is actually responsible for Google Chrome triggering a bug, but the problem is very rare and it's impossible to say with certainty that the fix submitted in this Release Candidate will actually do anything.

“This bug is much more common (and by "much more common" I mean "still basically impossible to hit unless you were really unlucky") on newer machines that have bigger TLB's and that could happily have run in 64-bit mode without the disgusting abortion that is x86 PAE, and a small part of me feels that anybody who hit this problem on such a machine probably got whatever they deserved,” ended Torvalds.

More details about the updates and the new features in the kernel can be found in the official announcement.

Download Linux kernel 3.9 RC7 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a development release and it is intended for testing purposes only.

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