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The Belated Linux 3.1 Kernel Is Released

Linux Kernel

Published on 24 October 2011 07:04 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
11 Comments

In the early hours of the morning, Linus Torvalds tagged the Linux 3.1 kernel final.

No release announcement has yet to hit the kernel mailing list, but among the Linux 3.1 highlights are:

- Open-source graphics driver improvements: Better Intel Ivy Bridge support, Cedar Trail support, Nouveau is FUC'ed (Nouveau can now generate its own FUC microcode for GeForce 400/500 "Fermi" GPUs so that there is hardware acceleration without needing to worry about extracting any microcode from the NVIDIA binary driver), GMA500 improvements, and other Linux GPU driver advancements.

- Support for the OpenRISC architecture, an open-source CPU architecture.

- A Nintendo Wiimote HID driver.

- The EXT3 file-system now enables barriers by default. This, of course, improves data safety at the cost of performance. Barriers can still be disabled, but modern Linux file-systems tend to all ship with barriers enabled.

- Support for near-field communication (NFC).

- Dynamic write-back throttling.

- VFS scalability improvements.

Some of these other improvements to the Linux 3.1 kernel are talked about at KernelNewbies.org.

Now it's time to get excited over the Linux 3.2 kernel and its merge window that's now to be opened! There's already many GPU driver improvements queued up, including the first open-source ARM DRM driver to be merged mainline.

With the Linux 3.1 kernel having gone through ten release candidates, Linux 3.1 is arriving later than expected and as such there's been more time for kernel developers to finish up their work for Linux 3.2. Linus Torvalds is worried the Linux 3.2 kernel may be huge, but we'll know in two weeks just how this next kernel is looking when its merge window is closed. Benchmarks are, of course, on the way.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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