With the release of the Linux 3.7 kernel
being imminent (it might even be out today), here's an overview of the features and highlights of this 2012 holiday release of the Linux kernel.
For those that haven't been paying attention to the Phoronix articles in the prior weeks about the Linux 3.7 kernel, some of the new features to this kernel include:
- Improved power management for Radeon GPUs
- Improved Intel graphics support
for new hardware.
- The Nouveau DRM driver was largely reworked
- Other Direct Rendering Manager changes
- 64-bit ARM support
a.k.a. ARMv8 / AArch64.
- ARM Xen virtualization support
for the Cortex-A15.
- A single ARM Linux kernel now supports multiple devices
- Nintendo Wii Balance Board
- Intel Supervisor Mode Access Prevention
- Oracle SPARC-T4
- New work within the staging tree
- Audio Run-Time Power Management
- JFS TRIM support
when using the file-system on SSDs.
- EXT4 enhancements
- Btrfs hole-punching
and other new capabilities for the experimental file-system.
- The Intel AES-NI support
is now faster by utilizing parallel AES-NI hardware pipelines.
- Support for loading firmware files directly rather than relying on udev.
- Xen EFI video mode support.
- IPv6 Netfilter improvements.
Besides the many Linux 3.7 articles
on Phoronix, there's also a brief overview of key 3.7 features by subsystem on KernelNewbies.org
In terms of the Linux 3.7 kernel benchmarks already conducted there is:
- A 12-Way Radeon Gallium3D graphics card comparison
- Comparing the latest open-source Radeon driver code to AMD Catalyst
- Linux 3.7 file-system benchmarks
including EXT4, XFS, and Btrfs.
- Btrfs file-system tuning
of mount options on the new kernel.
- Other Linux 3.7 kernel benchmarks
While the Linux 3.7 kernel turned out quite nice, next up is the Linux 3.8 kernel
and there's already a lot of new features
in the pipeline.