Linux version 2.6.22 includes several fixes for driver and networking issues, as well as "small architectural changes," according to a message Torvalds posted Saturday on the Linux kernel mailing list.
The update also covers "various random fixes for regressions and other buglets," according to Torvalds.
The message did not provide any hints on whether Torvalds is considering distributing the Linux kernel under the latest version of the license that governs the bulk of free and open source software.
Version 3 of the so-called General Public License was released last month by open source governing body the Free Software Foundation.
A key addition to GPLv3 is a provision that prohibits companies or individuals that distribute software covered by the license from suing open source software users.
Microsoft, which clams that Linux and other open source software products violate its intellectual property, has said it won't distribute GPLv3 software through its alliance with Novell. Observers believe Microsoft made the decision in order to preserve its right to sue Linux users if it so chooses.
Microsoft said it will continue to distribute the Linux kernel, which is licensed under GPLv2 and therefore does not contain the anti-lawsuit provision.
To date, Torvalds has indicated a strong distaste toward GPLv3, so it appears likely that the Linux kernel, including the new 2.6.22 update, will continue to be distributed under GPLv2 and available to customers of Microsoft's Novell alliance.
In a posting last month, Torvalds said he's not in favor of a GPLv3 stipulation that forbids businesses that use open source software in their products from prohibiting end user modifications of the software. "I think it is okay to control people's hardware, I do it myself," Torvalds wrote.