I can remember only three or four 'emergency' patches to 2.4, after Linus branched to 2.5... ones that needed to be installed immediately because they were DOS or security fixes. The size of most of those patches is adding new drivers. When an emergency fix was needed, 2.4 had it out in a day or two, but for the most part, it rolled up a bunch of stuff at once so that people could test the upcoming kernel. I tested a few of those, but never saw any problems with them. Marcelo was wonderfully conservative in his philosophy about patching. (ie, don't add features, fix the old ones, and just add drivers.)
The vast majority of the 16 updates to 2.6.16 have been security-related, and they've required immediate reboots, at least if you're security-conscious. Whether they're 10KiB or 10MiB, they still are primarily to fix security problems. Running a Linux 2.6.16 free of known security holes this month, in other words, has necessitated a reboot every two or three days.
I don't remember that ever happening on ANY earlier kernel, from 0.8 through 2.4, though you're certainly welcome to correct me if I'm misremembering. All security updates to 2.4, as far as I know, came through _really_ fast, so the patch *releases* should be very comparable in terms of total numbers. 16 releases in five or six weeks versus 32 in 5.5 years looks like total shit, IMO. And Linus didn't even go to 2.5 until about Linux 2.4.10, so you could argue that it's really 16 versus 22.
Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds