Linux 2.6.39 Kernel Merge Window Closes With -rc1
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 29 March 2011 at 07:21 PM EDT. 5 Comments
While we have already been benchmarking code for the Linux 2.6.39 kernel a fair amount at Phoronix with the Nouveau page-flipping and z-compression merge plus Nouveau Fermi acceleration, only this afternoon did Linus Torvalds tag the first release candidate for this next major kernel update.

For our favorite part, the DRM / graphics side, the Linux 2.6.39 kernel provides Radeon HD 6900 series support, enabling tiling support for R600+ ASICs, the Nouveau driver has the aforementioned KMS page-flipping and z-compression, there's initial support for USB GPU DRM support for eventually having a DisplayLink DRM driver, TTM memory management support with Xen Dom0, and various other 2.6.39 DRM changes.

Within the kernel's staging area is also an Intel GMA 500 Poulsbo driver that has basic kernel mode-setting and TTM support, but it goes without any acceleration support and is quite rudimentary for now.

In this cycle, Linus once again criticzed the DRM code development with there being a number of fundamental issues.

Besides the graphics excitement, there's various new drivers, and many updated hardware drivers. In the Linux 2.6.39-rc1 release announcement, Linus notes there are a number of ARM updates, further VFS clean-up, and a new block device plugging model.

The Linux 2.6.39 kernel is shaping up to be a modest release although users relying upon their distribution vendors packages for their kernel will not be finding this in any of the major H1'2011 releases (e.g. Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15 are using Linux 2.6.38), but will be waiting for the major distribution roll-outs in the second half of this year where they will be shipping with the 2.6.39 (or 2.6.40/2.6.41) kernels.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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