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The Staging Merge For Linux 3.2 Kernel Is Huge

Linux Kernel

Published on 25 October 2011 11:10 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
5 Comments

Linus Torvalds was worried that the Linux 3.2 kernel might be of a worrying size due to the belated release of Linux 3.1. Merge requests are now starting to come in for the Linux 3.2 kernel and the staging merge alone touches several hundred thousand lines of code.

Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the "big staging merge for 3.2" this morning to Linus. Greg writes, "there's a lot of patches in here, and the overall diff is quite impressive." There's some 103,718 lines of new code, but there is 230,262 lines of code that were removed from the tree. So while there is still lots of new code, it's actually a net decrease in the total number of lines of code.

The changes are attributed to several drivers being taken out of the Linux kernel staging area. The "ath6kl" driver, which is the open-source driver for the Atheros AR600x series of wireless chipsets, has been replaced by a better driver in the kernel's wireless tree. A Broadcom WiFi driver also made it out of staging. Microsoft's HyperV bus core code is also preparing to leave the kernel staging area.

The Broadcom WiFi drivers leaving the staging area is brcmfmac and brcmsmac. The brcmfmac is for the BCM4329 ASIC. Brcmsmac is the open-source bcrm80211 driver for the BCM4313 (0x4727), BCM43224 (0x0576 and 0x4353), and BCM43225 (0x4357) chips.

Some of the staging driver updates include changes to the Crystal HD, cx25821 (a Conexant driver for video surveillance), et131x (the Agere ET131x ethernet driver), the Intel Poulksbo/GMA500 driver, and rtl8192e (a Realtek WLAN chipset driver). The XGI frame-buffer (xgifb) driver has also received several thousand lines of updates. The XGI updates seem to be mostly fixes and other minor work, but nothing too exciting, especially as it's for the fb driver and not some magical KMS component. There's also a new Linux staging driver for the Realtek RTS5139 card-reader.

In total there are 1519 patches for the staging tree in the Linux 3.2 kernel merge window. You can read Greg's 3.2 staging merge request on the kernel mailing list.

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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