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Linus Torvalds wants testers to get stuck into the latest Linux kernel after publishing the second release candidate (rc2) of Linux 5.11 over the New Year weekend.

Linux 5.11 rc2 comes barely a week after Torvalds released the first release candidate (rc1) on 27 December. In his release notes, the Linux founder acknowledged that “not a lot has happened” over the past couple of weeks as contributors enjoyed some downtime, though added that it was now time to “crawl out from under all the Xmas wrapping paper piles and go test.”

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5.11 rc2 is tiny in comparison to rc1, Torvalds explained, which included a “huge dump of AMD GPU descriptor header files” that account for around two-thirds of the entire update.

These file additions, codenamed Van Gough, are destined for the upcoming generation of AMD Ryzen mobile accelerated processing Unit (APUs) expected to arrive this year. Torvalds said these files “completely dwarf[s] all the ‘real’ changes in Linux 5.11.”

Given the lull over the festive period, rc2 of Linux 5.11 is far smaller – “tiny”, in fact – than rc1, with the main fixes centered around small computer system interfaces [SCSI] and block devices, according to Torvalds.

He added that the quiet festive period may or may not end up affecting the release schedule of Linux 5.11: given that most of the code was submitted before the holidays, the merge window shouldn’t have been hugely impacted, he said. Despite this, a similarly small rc3 could result in delays to the final release of Linux 5.11.

“I expect next week to slowly start ramping up fixes, but I know some people are still on vacation or just in an extended food coma, and there’s a delay from testing to fixes, so we’ll see. Maybe rc3 ends up being fairly small too,” Torvalds wrote.

“It’s much too early to say whether this will then end up causing some delays in the final release – it’s possible, but with 5.11 not being a particularly big release maybe it doesn’t even matter that we had a fairly quiet week or two in the early rc series.”