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The Most Interesting Features Of The Linux 3.7 Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 27 October 2012 07:35 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
1 Comment

Being roughly half-way through the Linux 3.7 kernel development cycle, here's a recap of some of the most interesting features for this forthcoming major kernel release.

When the merge window on the Linux 3.7 kernel wasn't even closed yet, I already called it a beast of the kernel and it definitely shaped up that way. A ton of interesting features and other improvements were merged into this Linux kernel that will likely see its official release in November or early December if there's last-minute setbacks.

- New Btrfs features like improved fsync, "hole punching", and a greater number of hard-links are allowed per directory.

- Improved online file-system resizing and other enhancements to EXT4.

- The JFS file-system now supports TRIM/discard on solid-state drives.

- Audio run-time power management and other audio-related changes for the kernel sound drivers.

- Many changes to the open-source graphics drivers. This includes better Radeon power consumption, Intel fixes, and a reworked Nouveau kernel driver.

- Continued work on Samsung's open-source Exynos graphics driver.

- 64-bit ARM kernel support, a.k.a. the forthcoming ARMv8 AArch64 architecture. However, ARM 64-bit hardware is still many months away.

- ARM Xen virtualization support for having hardware-assisted virtualization on ARM Linux hardware if using an ARM Cortex-A15 processor. (ARM KVM virtualization will be coming to a later kernel release to use the Kernel-based Virtual Machine.)

- There's support now so a single kernel image can target multiple ARM SoCs.

- Lots of changes to the Linux kernel's perf infrastructure.

- As always, lots of changes within the staging tree.

- Support for the Nintendo Wii Balance Board and other input devices.

- Intel SMAP support as one of the security features coming to Intel Haswell CPUs.

- Oracle SPARC-T4 processor support.

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