What gives a new version number to a Linux release?

Today the first kernel 6.0 prerelease was released. Is a new kernel release scheduled, or is there another factor at play? Does it rely on the quantity of merges and commits? Or does Linus only do it when he feels like it?

In a message to the kernel development mailing list Linus Torvalds said

“I’ve long eschewed the notion that major numbers are meaningful, and the only reason for a “hierarchical” numbering system is to make the numbers easier to remember and distinguish. Which is why when the minor number gets to around 20 I prefer to just increment the major number instead and reset to something smaller.”


It was scheduled for two weeks ago so its a bit late.