The Best Features Of The Linux 4.18 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 7 August 2018 at 07:14 AM EDT. 11 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Following a one week delay, the Linux 4.18 kernel is set to be released this coming weekend. In case you forgot about the new features and improvements since the Linux 4.18 cycle kicked off back in June, here's a look back at some of the most prominent additions for this latest kernel version.

Some of the most promising highlights for Linux 4.18 include:

- Initial support for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC.

- 64-bit ARM has been mitigated for Spectre Variant Four via the Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) functionality, similar to x86. Meanwhile 32-bit ARM finally has Spectre V1/V2 mitigation.

- The Steam Controller kernel for easily using Valve's Steam Controller as a HID input device without needing to rely upon Steam or the user-space SC-Controller.

- BPFILTER landed as a BPF-based solution that is working to overhaul the Linux kernel's packet filtering and firewall functionality.

- The Restartable Services system call for faster user-space operations on per-CPU data.

- The AMDGPU DRM driver now supports the VegaM graphics found within Intel Kabylake-G CPUs as well as the yet-to-be-released deep-learning-focused Vega 20 graphics card.

- AMDGPU also has various power management improvements like power profiles for Vega, etc.

- The AMDKFD compute kernel driver that coincides with the ROCm user-space OpenCL stack now has support for GFX9/Vega hardware.

- V3D was merged as the driver formerly known as VC5 for supporting next-generation Broadcom VideoCore graphics... Hopefully next-generation Raspberry Pi boards will be making use of VideoCore 5 or later.

- Intel has continued work on bringing up Icelake support.

- The DM Writecache target landed that should help with caching around database type I/O workloads.

- USB 3.2 and USB Type-C improvements.

A more extensive look at the changes to this next kernel release can be found via our complete Linux 4.18 feature overview. Look for the Linux 4.18 kernel to be released on Sunday (12 August) followed by the opening of the Linux 4.19 kernel merge window.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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