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Looking Forward To The Linux 3.11 Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 10 June 2013 02:55 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
3 Comments

While the Linux 3.10 kernel hasn't even been released yet and won't be out for a couple weeks -- and it boasts a great number of new features and functionality -- the Linux 3.11 kernel will be even better. Here's what we know so far.

Building upon the enriched capabilities of the Linux 3.10 kernel is new drivers, hardware support, and other features that will be found in Linux 3.11 when released later in 2013. From the Phoronix point of view with our bent on Linux graphics and other hardware topics, some of the exciting stuff we know at this point that's likely to be merged include:

- Intel's Linux graphics driver developers have worked out the Valley View / Bay Trail support. Intel's DRM driver has committed support for their next-generation Atom SoCs with in-house (Ivy Bridge derived) graphics found in the Linux kernel for a few release cycles already, but it's been considered experimental. The experimental seal should be removed with Linux 3.11 as all support should be roughly ironed out and in shape. We don't know yet how well the next-gen Atoms will perform, but it will be interesting to see. Good Linux support for the Bay Trail Atoms is a must considering that many of these low-power SoCs will be found in Android-based phones / tablets.

- Aside from stabilizing Bay Trail, Intel OTC developers also have other GPU driver improvements. This kernel should also be good for new Intel Haswell Linux customers.

- The VIA DRM graphics driver is likely to be merged. While the VIA x86 hardware isn't too great that's out there, it's rather old, and I don't recommend it at all, I'm happy to see this driver finally going into the mainline tree. This driver will benefit those out there using VIA hardware on Linux with the lackluster IGPs. This driver has been developed largely by James Simmons over the past few years and he's been committed to the driver's success. There's still no open-source Mesa/Gallium3D component, but at least mode-setting is in shape with this VIA KMS support that can work in conjunction with the latest OpenChrome DDX.

- Potentially the new ath10k network driver. The ath10k WiFi driver is for supporting new Qualcomm Atheros 802.11ac WLAN adapters.

- We could see hot relocation support added to Btrfs so that frequently used data with Btrfs would be automatically migrated from HDD to SSD storage.

- 64-bit ARM KVM virtualization support has been baking for a while so that AArch64 hardware will have hardware virtualization support. There's already ARM hardware virtualization support via KVM and Xen for the ARM Cortex-A15 SoCs within the mainline Linux kernel.

The merge contents for the Linux 3.11 kernel will be a whole lot more clear for the different subsystems in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to Phoronix for our extensive kernel-level coverage as always. With the continued rate of Linux progress, for ardent Phoronix followers and Linux enthusiasts there is no better place than Git.

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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