Features, Changes Merged So Far For The Linux 4.3 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 5 September 2015 at 09:00 AM EDT. 4 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
We're about half-way through the Linux 4.3 kernel merge window so here's a look at the features that have got me excited over the past week as new features and improved/changed functionality for this next major update to the Linux kernel.

Highlights of the pull requests issued over the past week include:

Graphics:

- Skylake "Gen9" graphics by default rather than being hidden behind a silly preliminary support flag. There's also various Skylake fixes within the Intel DRM driver for Linux 4.3.

- Initial open-source AMD R9 Fury "Fiji" GPU support! But sadly no re-clocking support for delivering good performance...

- A big code rework to the Nouveau DRM driver along with some re-clocking improvements, but still the re-clocking support has a lot left to be desired as well as still lacking GTX 900 hardware acceleration.

- OpenGL 3.3 for VMWgfx, the kernel-side work of the VMware virtual Gallium3D driver that will allow for OGL3 finally with the latest VMware virtualization products and the newest Mesa code.

- Other DRM changes.

File-Systems / Disks / Block Devices:

- Btrfs TRIM and RAID 5/6 fixes plus other minor improvements.

- Fixes for EXT4.

- Minor F2FS updates.

- It's still being debated on the mailing list whether the EXT3 driver will be removed for Linux 4.3.

Processors:

- A HUGE LINUX 4.3 SCHEDULER CHANGE that could potentially impact the performance of all SMP workloads, but so far no scary regressions.

- MIPS updates.

- Support for ARMv8.1 features.

- Power management updates that include some Intel Skylake additions.

- ARM SoC / platform additions.

- x86 boot time optimizations.

- Fake NUMA for the S390.

- AMD Carrizo power information is now exposed via hwmon with the fam15h_power driver.

Other Hardware:

- Input driver updates.

- Wacom driver improvements and other HID updates.

- Sound support for Intel Skylake plus other Linux audio improvements.


Daily automated benchmarks of the Git code for the Linux kernel continue to be done each day at LinuxBenchmarking.com.


Meanwhile, we're still waiting to see what comes about with the expected KDBUS pull request, whether the EXT3 driver will get nuked or not this cycle, and what other pull requests will come in the next week. Stay tuned to Phoronix! If you appreciate my concise kernel coverage each day complementing all of the Linux hardware tests and benchmarks, consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or making a tip.
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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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