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Features On The Horizon For The Linux 3.8 Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 27 October 2012 06:01 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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While we're only half-way through the Linux 3.7 development cycle and there's already a lot of features to look forward to with this next kernel release, the Linux 3.8 kernel should also prove to be interesting.

After writing this morning about the most interesting Linux 3.7 kernel features, I also decided to list some of the work that's likely to land for the Linux 3.8 kernel, This list is far from being exhaustive but just some of the interesting and known features that will likely be ready for the Linux 3.8 merge window.

- The Intel Haswell support should be in good shape with the Linux 3.8 kernel. The open-source graphics driver for the Haswell integrated graphics should be ready for the 3.8 kernel plus various other improvements for this next-generation processor to launch from Intel in 2013.

- Similar to Haswell, the Valley View support will also hopefully be in good shape for Linux 3.8. Valley View is the next-generation Atom SoC making use of in-house Intel graphics rather than PowerVR SGX graphics cores. So by the time Haswell and Valley View chips begin to appear in the market, there should be good "out of the box" Linux support, at least as far as the kernel is concerned.

- Some long-in-development DMA-BUF V4L2 work should be ready for the 3.8 kernel.

- Potential HDMI CEC kernel support.

- There's some Loongson-3 support still on the mailing list that hasn't yet been merged yet for the Chinese MIPS64 processor and the few devices being built around this alternative processor.

- One of the most hopeful changes for the Linux 3.8 kernel will be better re-clocking support within the open-source Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics cards. Good re-clocking support has long been desired for better performance and for at least the "NV50" GPUs there will hopefully be some good (sane) support in place.

- The open-source Intel GPU driver will support secure batch-buffers for hopefully no more tearing on modern graphics hardware.

- Atomic mode-setting / page-flipping might be ready in time.

- Hot-data tracking is on the horizon through the VFS layer for being implemented in Btrfs along with possibly other file-systems.

- Continued Btrfs improvements.

- There's some VMware virtualization driver work that the proprietary virtualization vendor has been wanting to push mainline.

- There might be the new Samsung F2FS file-system for flash devices that can deliver impressive performance.

- KVM virtualization support for ARM to use the Kernel-based Virtual Machine in conjunction with ARM Cortex-A15 cores.

And much more... The other work will be shared on Phoronix in the coming weeks as the features being likely to merge for Linux 3.8 become more clear. What you're not likely to see out of Linux 3.8 is the mainlining of Reiser4, the VIA DRM/KMS driver, and other work that has been slow to mature and gain traction within the Linux kernel community.

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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