For those interested in testing out the very latest Linux kernel code, the Linux 2.6.37-rc5 kernel is now available for use.
While Linus Torvalds spent most of last week in Japan meeting with other Linux kernel developers, the Linux 2.6.37-rc4 release is right on schedule, one week after releasing Linux 2.6.37-rc3. There are more changes found in this fourth release candidate than would be anticipated for this time in the release cycle, but the overall churn isn't too bad and there are a few notable fixes.
For those with some extra time this holiday week in the United States, perhaps you want to try out the ZFS file-system on Linux? As was said this week when publishing ZFS benchmarks on Linux using the native kernel module developed by LLNL/KQ Infotech, the public release of this kernel module wasn't going to happen until the first week of January. Fortunately, we have been successful in overwhelming KQ Infotech with lots of interested users, so they have decided to go ahead and make the current beta ZFS Linux module available to the general public.
After reading the Linux 2.6.37-rc3 release announcement on the Linux kernel mailing list, another interesting thread was found and it's about getting hardware vendors to do their initial hardware bring-up under Linux prior to any Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X support. A number of reasons are provided why hardware vendors should support their hardware first under Linux and also why they should foster open-source drivers along with its challenges.
One week after the relatively painless Linux 2.6.37-rc2 release came about, the third release candidate for the Linux 2.6.37 kernel has come around.
David Airlie sent in a DRM pull request to Linus Torvalds for the Linux 2.6.37 kernel this week to fix some Intel DRM driver bugs as well as one ATI Radeon KMS fix. However, this pull request sparked another rant by Linus Torvalds about the quality of the work of the open-source Linux (DRM) graphics driver developers.
Two weeks have passed since the release of the Linux 2.6.37-rc1 kernel that finally allowed the core kernel code to built without the the Big Kernel Lock. It also brought many open-source graphics improvements and other improvements and new drivers (such as a Intel Poulsbo driver and Broadcom's WiFi driver). Now the Linux 2.6.37-rc2 kernel is available as regressions are addressed in time for the final Linux 2.6.37 kernel release several weeks down the road.
There's just two months to go until the annual Linux.Conf.Au conference, which in 2011 is taking place in Brisbane, Australia. Ted Ts'o, the maintainer of the EXT4, will be speaking at the 2011 Linux.Conf.Au and he's just shared his "money shot" from his presentation about this evolutionary file-system building atop EXT2/EXT3. New benchmarking results from HP's Eric Whitney on a large multi-core system indicate that "[EXT4 is] now within striking distance of XFS."
As anticipated, the 2.6.37 merge window closed yesterday and the first release candidate for the Linux 2.6.37 kernel is now available. Major changes that were pushed into the Linux 2.6.37 kernel include support for building the kernel without the Big Kernel Lock (BKL), many graphics DRM improvements, and more of the responsiveness patches.
David Airlie has just called upon Linus Torvalds to pull in his DRM kernel tree for the Linux 2.6.37 kernel merge window. We have talked about many of these features before that are now entering the mainline Linux kernel code-base as new capabilities of the open-source Linux graphics stack, but here's the list of what made the cut for Linux 2.6.37 and details on some of the features we have yet to discuss.
While the Linux 2.6.36 kernel was released yesterday, we already have our eyes towards the Linux 2.6.37 kernel to see what new features this next kernel will bring, any performance changes that may come as a result (we continue to benchmark the kernel everyday), and this will likely be the kernel version used by Ubuntu 11.04 and other early 2011 Linux distributions. While we have already reported on some of the features that should be merged into the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, there's at least three major features we have been looking forward to that will be sadly missing from this kernel.
The Linux 2.6.36 kernel is now out there on the Internet. After an unexpected delay and some other slowdowns in the 2.6.36 development cycle, Linus tagged the 2.6.36 kernel this afternoon.
While we are close to seeing the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, this week LinSched for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released. LinSched is a simulator that allows testing the Linux kernel scheduler in user-space for modifying and observing its scheduling behavior.
While last week it looked like the Linux 2.6.36 kernel was just days away with Linus Torvalds expecting the 2.6.36-rc7 release to be the last test milestone, this has turned out not to be the case as this afternoon a 2.6.36-rc8 kernel has made a debut.
As was anticipated seven days ago when releasing the Linux 2.6.36-rc6 kernel, there is a Linux 2.6.36-rc7 kernel to come and it's just been released. The good news is that Linus Torvalds believes this will be the last release candidate before the Linux 2.6.36 kernel is officially released.
The Linux 2.6.36 kernel is just about here. Linus Torvalds has now released the sixth RC build of this upcoming 2.6.36 build. In the past week since 2.6.36-rc5 was released, there's been many more regression fixes going into the kernel, but still it's not in a state ready for release by Linus' standards.
The Linux 2.6.36-rc5 kernel is now available after Linus Torvalds has got back on track with the weekly release candidates after being at LinuxCon in Brazil. Of course, this later release candidate just targets correcting bugs and other issues, including a fix for a 14 year old kernel bug.
Alban Crequy, a Maemo developer, for the past several weeks have been working on bringing D-Bus directly into the Linux kernel. Why? Huge performance improvements.
Due to LinuxCon Brazil there's been two weeks that have passed since the third release candidate was tagged for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, but on Sunday afternoon Linus christened Linux 2.6.36-rc4.
While we are always getting excited for the next Linux 2.6 kernel release (heck, we are barely halfway through the Linux 2.6.36 kernel development and we are already getting excited for Linux 2.6.37 with its driver improvements), but sometimes it can be easy to forget that there is still a maintained Linux 2.4 kernel. The Linux 2.6 kernel has been around for nearly seven years and is used by all new Linux distribution updates, but there's lots of enterprise and embedded devices running off this old kernel. The Linux 2.4 kernel though may have just reached an end-of-life state with the just-released Linux 184.108.40.206 kernel.
Linus Torvalds has just done a Sunday afternoon release of the Linux 2.6.36-rc3 kernel. With the merge window for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel having closed a few weeks ago, the third 2.6.36 release candidate isn't too exciting unless you were affected by one of the kernel's outstanding bugs.
About one month ago we reported on the emergence of patches that may fix the Linux desktop responsiveness problems, which is an issue that's been experienced by many Linux desktop users in recent years. For Linux users it may take many seconds for a menu to appear when clicking on it or a half-minute to do a VT switch, but fortunately it's becoming a thing of the past with these patches working well for many users and has since been integrated into the mainline Linux kernel. The story though is not over as even more patches have just been published to further improve the Linux desktop responsiveness.
The Linux 2.6.36-rc2 kernel has been released this Sunday afternoon and this time around there's an announcement of the release by Linus Torvalds (he lacked announcing 2.6.36-rc1; Phoronix was one of the few places reporting on it). The 2.6.36-rc2 kernel release brings mostly bug/regression fixes, but compared to the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, Linus has accepted some pull requests after the -rc1 release in the Linux 2.6.36 kernel while denying other requests.
Kernel mode-setting (KMS) is useful for faster VT/X switching, VTs being always at the panel's native resolution, the ability to thwart some security bugs in the X.Org Server (as shown earlier this week), presenting a cleaner and more flexible architecture, and allowing new and interesting projects to emerge (such as Plymouth and Wayland), but the benefits do not end there. When kernel mode-setting is combined with KDB, a Linux kernel debugger shell, you now have one powerful combination.
The Linux 2.6.36-rc1 kernel was released earlier in the week and while it will still be a couple months until the Linux 2.6.36 kernel will be officially released, the developers behind the open-source DisplayLink graphics driver are already looking forward to the Linux 2.6.37 kernel. This next kernel release that will make it out in early 2011 will bring new features and fixes to this driver that supports many graphics products over USB.
While no release announcement has yet to work its way onto the Linux Kernel Mailing List, the Linux 2.6.36-rc1 kernel was tagged last night in Git by Linus Torvalds. As we have already shared in a number of articles, the Linux 2.6.36 kernel delivers on an exciting number of new features and other improvements.
This morning we published benchmarks of ZFS, EXT4, and Btrfs when running these three popular file-systems off a high-performance OCZ Vertex 2 solid-state drive and also a 7200RPM notebook hard drive. To a fair amount of surprise, the EXT4 file-system ended up beating out Btrfs on the SSD in a number of tests, which was a change from our tests when using the EXT4/Btrfs modules on previous kernels. It was even more surprising since Btrfs has an SSD-optimized mode where as EXT4 does not. However, it turns out this is part of a major performance regression for this file-system in the Linux 2.6.35 kernel.
As was reported on Phoronix yesterday, the Linux desktop responsiveness problem may be fixed. This is the issue that has affected many Linux desktop users for numerous months where when dealing with large file transfers or other disk operations, the desktop interface (regardless of whether its GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc) would become unresponsive and it could be a good number of seconds before a simple action like clicking a menu item would be processed.
Now that the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released a few days ago, Linus Torvalds has begun pulling in new code for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel as the various developers begin submitting pull requests of their new work. Dave Airlie, the maintainer of the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) code in the Linux kernel, overnight sent in his first Git pull request of his DRM tree. This pull request brings many new features for Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA/Nouveau graphics hardware.
One of the problems commonly talked about in our forums and elsewhere is the poor responsiveness of the Linux desktop when dealing with significant disk activity on systems where there is insufficient RAM or the disks are slow. The GUI basically drops to its knees when there is too much disk activity, which is far from being ideal. For many the problem has just been present for a year or two, but those experiencing these horrible responsiveness problems where it may take many seconds for a menu to appear when clicking on it or a half-minute to do a VT switch, there soon may be a fix.
1397 Linux Kernel news articles published on Phoronix.