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Linus Torvalds explains how to Pull without jerking his chain

Linux 4.11 rc 2 is out, but not until after a little terse instruction on how to contribute

Linux kernel developers have again given Linus Torvalds cause for complaint.

The Linux Lord felt the need to take to the Linux Kernel Mailing List late last week to tell a chap called Wolfram Sang that “If you cannot explain a reason for a merge or be bothered to try to write a commit message, you shouldn't be doing that merge. It really is that simple.”

“Particularly don't do merges when they turn a single commit into *four* commit (original, revert, merge, and alternate) and have bad explanations for half of those.”

For those of you contemplating kernel contributions, Torvalds suggests it would be better not to do the pull at all. Or if you must submit it because “you want to do the pull to sync up or something, don't do the revert, but instead make the merge message talk about *why* that merge was done.”

“Since the *only* possible reason for that pull seems to have been to make some git history match up, it damn well matters what the git history is, and these commits should make sense. As it is, the history just looks messy with bogus explanations.”

You've been told, kernelistas.

The rest of us have also been told to be a little bold and give Linux 4.11 rc2 a whirl, because it's there to be run if you want to.

“I think we're in fine shape for this stage in the development kernel,” Torvalds writes, adding that “it shouldn't be particularly scary to just say 'I'll be a bit adventurous and test an rc2 kernel'.”

“Yes, it's early rc time still, but go on, help us make sure we're doing ok.”

If you do test it, you'll get to see early work on support in Linux for five-level page table support, Intel's trick that takes memory spaces from 256 terabytes to 128 petabytes. ®

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