It was just a few hours ago that we were the first news site to point out the message by Linus Torvalds on the kernel mailing list about his desire to end the Linux 2.6 kernel series and move future releases to the Linux 2.8 or even Linux 3.0 series. While efforts to change the Linux kernel versioning have been voiced in the past and ultimately failed, it looks like the effort this time around is building momentum and the change could very well happen.
In a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List today regarding the shortened merge window for the Linux 2.6.40 kernel, Linus Torvalds brings up that there's already been many Linux 2.6 kernel releases and that he could end up tagging this as the Linux 2.8.0 kernel.
Since the release of the Linux 2.6.39 kernel on Thursday, Linus Torvalds opened the merge window for the Linux 2.6.40 kernel and it will stay open until month's end. While the 2.6.40 kernel will bring several open-source graphics driver improvements (performance improvements, Intel Ivy Bridge support NVIDIA Optimus, etc), new hardware enablement, and other enhancements, there's a few features that you will not find in this next major Linux kernel release.
As expected to happen this week, the Linux 2.6.39 kernel has been officially released. This major kernel update provides some exciting new features and drivers, but not without some notable regressions too.
It's been about three weeks since last mentioning the major power consumption problem in the Linux kernel (actually, there's more than one power regression) and it's affecting distributions like Ubuntu 11.04. The lack of mentioning the power regression in recent weeks isn't though because the regressions are addressed, they are still outstanding with the about to be released Linux 2.6.39 kernel.
"So things have been pretty quiet, and unless something major comes up I believe that this will be the last -rc," began Linus Torvalds in announcing the release of the Linux 2.6.39-rc7 kernel.
Sponsored in part by NVIDIA, at the University of Utah they are exploring speeding up the Linux kernel by using GPU acceleration. Rather than just allowing user-space applications to utilize the immense power offered by modern graphics processors, they are looking to speed up parts of the Linux kernel by running it directly on the GPU.
Linus Torvalds has pushed out his weekly Linux kernel -rc leading up to the Linux 2.6.39 kernel release later in the month.
Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 2.6.39-rc5 kernel. This latest test kernel doesn't yet have a fix for the major power consumption regressions, but it has block layer plugging fixes, driver regression fixes, and a big RCU
Happy Easter, one week from May Day, 146 day countdown to Oktoberfest, or whatever occasion you may be celebrating today. Here's some of the Phoronix Linux tests being carried out today.
Last February there was the first bits of hybrid graphics support under Linux when Red Hat's David Airlie began working on what he called "vga_switcheroo." The vga_switcheroo support allowed switching between multiple graphics processors -- primarily for notebooks -- by issuing a few commands and restarting the X Server. This work was later merged into the mainline kernel, but as of late there hasn't been much more to say.
While we are already getting excited for the Linux 2.6.40 kernel due to Intel Sandy Bridge performance improvements with other patches, hopefully G45 VA-API DRM bits, maybe even a PowerVR driver, and now a QEMU-KVM KMS graphics driver, first the Linux 2.6.39 kernel needs to be christened. That though is getting closer to happening with the release last night of the Linux 2.6.39-rc4 kernel.
To the Intel graphics mailing list, Chris Wilson has just published a set of thirty patches to be applied against their DRM tree that will end up being merged for the Linux 2.6.40 kernel. Some of these patches are quite interesting.
Last week the Linux 2.6.39-rc2 kernel was released and Linus Torvalds mentioned that it was "unusually calm" for just being days after the 2.6.39 merge window being closed. With the third release candidate that was made available last night, the Linux 2.6.39 kernel development continues to go well with 2.6.39-rc3 also being quite calm.
Linus Torvalds describes the just-released Linux 2.6.39-rc2 kernel as being an "uncommonly calm" release and points that may lead it to being a "simple release" if nothing changes.
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.
Yesterday Linus voiced his anger towards DRM, once again. But not the kind of DRM that is commonly criticized, Digital Rights Management, but rather the Linux kernel's Direct Rendering Manager. With the Linux 2.6.39 kernel it's been another time when Linus has been less than happy with the pull request for this sub-system that handles the open-source graphics drivers. Changes are needed.
Linus Torvalds is known to have an interesting, colorful e-mail from time to time when becoming frustrated with developers over the quality of patches or when in a very polarized technical debate. In particular, the DRM developers for the Direct Rendering Manager in the kernel (not the restrictive kind, Digital Rights Management) have received a number of critical remarks from Linus. This morning Linus has criticized a second DRM pull request for the Linux 2.6.39 kernel over one of the patches not being ready in advance.
While the Linux 2.6.38 kernel has been out for less than one week, if you use NVIDIA graphics, particularly with a low-end GPU, start counting down the days to the release of the Linux 2.6.39 kernel. Particularly on lower-end NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, the reverse-engineered open-source Nouveau driver now meets or exceeds the speed of NVIDIA's official proprietary driver in a number of OpenGL test cases.
David Airlie has just emailed Linus Torvalds with his main DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) pull request for the Linux 2.6.39 kernel that 2.6.38 was released earlier this week. As was mentioned a few days ago, the Linux 2.6.39 kernel will feature a number of interesting changes to the open-source graphics drivers, among other areas.
Just as expected, Linus Torvalds released the Linux 2.6.38 kernel over the night. Since the previous Linux 2.6.38-rc8 release there's been some Btrfs file-system updates and other regression fixes throughout, including two fixes for my AMD Fusion Linux problems. Over the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, there's a lot to be found and to enjoy about this new kernel.
While the Linux 2.6.38 kernel isn't even released yet, it's likely to be released in the next day or two. After that and a few days of downtime, the merge window for the Linux 2.6.39 kernel will be opened. What features can one expect for the open-source Linux graphics support? As is usual these days, there's lots of expected changes.
Thomas Renninger of SuSE has announced cpupowerutils, a new free software project derived from cpufrequtils that is designed to offer much more thorough and advanced support for CPU usage/power monitoring and other performance statistics.
The Linux 2.6.38 is effectively ready for release. The condition of the kernel is quite good (hence the large just-published seven-way file-system benchmarks on a SSD and HDD) and Linus noted Monday that when releasing the 2.6.38-rc8 kernel that it could even be considered final, but as he's away for a few days, he went ahead to do one final pre-release.
The stable Linux 2.6.38 kernel is in sight. Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 2.6.38-rc7 kernel, which is much less interesting than his weekend at an Oscar party.
If you're an owner of a netbook or other hardware containing an Intel Poulsbo / GMA 500, the Linux 2.6.39 kernel should be rather exciting. Entering the Linux kernel's staging tree is an initial open-source driver for this notorious Intel graphics processor derived from Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX graphics core.
The Linux 2.6.38-rc6 kernel has been released. The 2.6.38 kernel is getting into shape and will soon be released with the sixth release candidate carrying a variety of small fixes throughout this open-source kernel.
Back in September there was the major victory for the open-source and Linux hardware support communities when Broadcom open-sourced an 802.11n Linux driver after years of their WiFi chipsets being notorious under Linux. There's another wireless chipset vendor now getting more serious about open-source driver support too and that's Ralink. They've now contributed patches to the rt2x00 driver project that enables their new RT5390 chipset family to be used by this open-source Linux wireless driver.
The fourth release candidate of the Linux 2.6.38 kernel is now available.
After Linus released an early Linux 2.6.38-rc2 kernel due to the 2011 Linux.Conf.Au, Linus has released the Linux 2.6.38-rc3 kernel while developers are returning from this Australian conference.
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