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Linux 3.3 Kernel Has A Big, "Pretty Good" Staging Merge

Linux Kernel

Published on 09 January 2012 03:24 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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The Linux 3.3 kernel staging pull request has been submitted to Linus Torvalds. As said by Greg Kroah-Hartman, the 3.3 staging merge is big and "overall, the story is pretty good."

Here's some of the highlights of the staging area pull for the Linux 3.3 kernel:

- Several Android device drivers are now back in the mainline tree. This work comes per a real effort to mainline Google Android changes in the Linux kernel.

- The Microsoft Hyper-V drivers have left the Linux kernel staging area and are now part of the mainline code-base with Linux 3.3. The Hyper-V drivers are for Microsoft's virtualization platform and were living in the staging area for several release cycles.

- The XGI frame-buffer (xgifb) driver for these obscure graphics cards has received some improvements. (Though there's no new XGI work in the X.Org land or on a KMS/DRM driver.)

- Various changes to the Broadcom staging driver.

- LTTng has seen some changes in the kernel staging area. LTTng is the Linux Trace Toolkit Next Generation. As implied by the name, this is about tracing within the kernel to be used for debugging. LTTng is already used by a wide-range of companies and is already deployed with some Linux distributions. More details on this project can be found at LTTng.org.

- The Intel SST audio engine driver has been dropped.

- The Texas Instruments OMAP DRM/KMS driver has entered the Linux kernel staging area. The "omapdrm" driver has been under development for quite a while now but has finally hit the tree. This marks the second ARM graphics driver in the mainline Linux kernel after the Samsung Exynos driver entered the Linux 3.2 kernel. The OMAP DRM driver doesn't enable any 3D/video acceleration support, but has kernel mode-setting (KMS) and is backed by GEM memory management support.

- A lot of other Linux drivers have been cleaned-up and/or removed.

The pull request for staging on the Linux 3.3 kernel can be found on the kernel mailing list.

Greg KH also sent in today the USB pull request for Linux 3.3. The USB merge for 3.3 isn't too exciting (that email), but it does have some important fixes and re-works concerning Linux USB 3.0 support.

The staging and USB pull is also greeted by many other changes to be found in the Linux 3.3 kernel: many graphics driver changes (Intel, AMD Radeon, Nouveau), Radeon VM and DMA-BUF support, attacking Bufferbloat with Byte Queue Limits (BQL), and other new features to be talked about in the coming days.

What won't be found in the Linux 3.3 kernel is VIA KMS support, no NVIDIA GeForce 600 "Kepler" support, likely not the Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" series support, not any Microsoft exFAT, and certainly not Reiser4.

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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