Top Features Of The Linux 3.3 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 12 March 2012 at 01:19 PM EDT. 4 Comments
With the final release of the Linux 3.3 kernel expected to happen in in a matter of days, here's a recap of some of the most prominent Linux 3.3 kernel features that were introduced this cycle.

- The ASPM power regression has been properly addressed in the mainline Linux 3.3 kernel, which was subsequently back-ported to the various stable series. There's also better ACPI / power management with this soon-to-be-christened kernel.

- Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series HDMI audio support, which came via reverse-engineering.

- The DMA-BUF Linaro buffer sharing mechanism has landed, albeit in the Linux 3.3 kernel there really aren't any major drivers taking advantage of this infrastructure yet. DMA-BUF will be important going forward.

- Ethernet teaming support to combine several physical Ethernet ports into a virtual port.

- Xen performance fixes.

- Many open-source graphics driver improvements, including Semaphores support in the Radeon driver, better Intel Ivy Bridge support, and Samsung Exynos driver improvements. Nouveau, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA driver, also saw many improvements.

- Byte Queue Limits (BQL) is now in place for fighting buffer-bloat.

- Lots of staging area changes.

- Online resize support for EXT4 file-systems.

- Intel's NVM Express driver has been introduced.

- Large Physical Address Extension (LPAE) support for 32-bit ARMv7 devices with more than 4GB of RAM.

Plus many more changes. Within the forums you can share your most anticipated Linux features.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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