Linux 3.1-rc1 Kernel: A "Pretty Normal Release"
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 8 August 2011 at 03:26 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Linus Torvalds officially released the Linux 3.1-rc1 kernel on Sunday afternoon, following the 3.1 merge window being open for more than two weeks.

Linus says in his release announcement that the Linux 3.1 kernel is shaping up to be a "pretty normal release" with around three-quarters of the changes happening in the driver area. Lots of the driver work involved clean-ups and removing drivers from staging.

Outside of the driver areas there was the merging of the VM write-back code, some controversial ISCSI target code, networking changes, and a few other items.

The Phoronix list of interesting Linux 3.1 kernel changes so far includes:

- Nouveau Fermi support no longer requires manually loading micro-code after extracting it from the binary driver (i.e. out of the box GeForce 400/500 support).
- Intel Sandy Bridge performance optimizations, again.
- Various DRM changes.
- Support for an open-source CPU architecture (OpenRISC).
- A HID driver for the Nintendo Wiimote.
- Intel Poulsbo driver improvements, including initial support for Intel Cedar Trail.

Before anyone asks, it doesn't look like the Linux 3.1 kernel is set to fix up any of the power regressions (e.g. more drivers setting the Active-State Power Management bits where supported). I'll run some more power tests in the coming days when I get back to the United States.

The Linux 3.1-rc1 mailing list announcement from Linus Torvalds can be read at

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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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