The Exciting Features Merged So Far For Linux 3.17
We're now around the half-way point of the Linux 3.17 merge window with at least another week expected before the 3.17-rc1 release depending upon Linus Torvalds' travel around LinuxCon and the Kernel Summit in Chicago. While we're only half-way through the merge window, there's already enough new functionality to warrant a summary article for those that haven't been keeping up with all the Linux 3.17 coverage.
LinuxCon 2014 / Kernel Summit. Those also attending can see some of my earlier Chicago recommendations back when I was hosting XDC Chicago.
My favorite features and other changes so far for Linux 3.17 include:
- The ability to boot using EFI under Xen Dom0 along with other Xen virtualization changes.
- New features for F2FS, the Samsung Flash-Friendly File-System.
- DMA-BUF cross-device synchronization has finally landed after going through many patch reviews and changes over the course of several months. This should reduce some tearing and other issues for DRM drivers sharing buffers using the DMA-BUF method.
- A lot of old/unmaintained drivers were removed to lighten the kernel load and improve the quality. In trimming out old code, support for old PowerPC processors was removed.
- Many Radeon graphics driver improvements, including finally having good Radeon R9 290 "Hawaii" open-source support assuming you're also running the latest microcode for the hardware and the newest Mesa 10.3-devel Gallium3D code for RadeonSI.
- As usual, Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has invested in a ton of improvements for their graphics driver code, but two features ended up getting reverted.
- Nouveau NVIDIA driver improvements, including some contributions by NVIDIA Corp to this originally reverse-engineered driver.
- Many other DRM changes.
- Intel Braswell audio support.
- Numerous input driver improvements. There's also Wacom driver improvements.
- ACPI 5.1 and ACPI on ARM support along with other power management work that seems never-ending for the Linux kernel.
- Plenty of new ARM hardware is now supported by the mainline Linux kernel.
Stay tuned as there's still many other pull requests we're still waiting on before the Linux 3.17 merge window closes. Once Linux 3.17 activity begins to settle down, we'll be around as usual with a ton of new kernel benchmarks and other Linux performance data.
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