The Feature Overview For The Linux 3.8 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 24 December 2012 at 04:23 PM EST. Add A Comment
With the merge window having closed on the Linux 3.8 kernel, here's a comprehensive list of the most interesting features for this next major open-source kernel release.

I've already written about how the Linux 3.8 kernel is an amazing gift for Linux users and features on the horizon for this kernel update while in this article is the full list of all interesting items covered during the Linux 3.8 merge window.


- Updates to XFS to address a wide variety of work although no single feature change in particular stands out.

- Samsung's F2FS file-system was merged. This is the Flash-Friendly File-System that is showing quite promising results.

- The common EXT4 file-system now supports inline data and seek hole/data.

- Improved Btrfs performance and other new feature work for the next-generation Linux file-system.

- The Btrfs security problem was fixed.


- Work on true CPU hot-plug support.

- Improved ACPI power management support for Linux.

- More ARM64 / AArch64 ARM 64-bit architecture enablement.

- Many staging driver changes.

- Support for the Intel 386 CPU has been dropped.

- Windows 8 multi-touch protocol support.

- Audio/sound driver improvements and new hardware support.

- AVX optimizations to take advantage of the Advanced Vector Extensions on modern Intel and AMD CPUs.

- New hardware enablement for IBM POWER8.

- Intel TurboStat support for reading the CPU temperature and wattage.


- DMA-BUF support in V4L2 so that Video 4 Linux 2 drivers can seamlessly share buffers with DRM drivers in a zero-copy manner. This is primarily useful for ARM SoCs.

- AMD Radeon performance improvements within the Direct Rendering Manager code.

- Other Radeon DRM changes.

- Samsung Exynos DRM advancements.

- Various Intel DRM work and stabilizing Haswell graphics support for the 2013 Intel processors. The Intel improvements also include secure batch buffers for hopefully eliminating tearing issues.

- The open-source NVIDIA Tegra driver was merged.

- Reverse-engineered Nouveau driver improvements for open-source NVIDIA graphics.


- In certain cases, the Linux kernel now uses a lot less memory.

- Improved cryptography performance, primarily if using modern Intel CPUs.

- Balance NUMA was merged.

About The Author
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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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