Linus Torvalds is back to releasing the Linux 2.6.35 kernel release candidates on a weekly basis and on this Friday afternoon he has pushed out Linux 2.6.35-rc5. The Linux 2.6.35-rc5 release isn't too exciting, but due to the defconfig work, there's more than 200,000 lines changed/removed in the past week.
Last month we reported on the status of kernel mode-setting with the Glint driver that's being done as a Google Summer of Code project to provide KMS support for the ancient 3Dlabs Permedia 3 and Permedia 4 graphics cards and to better document the Linux KMS/DRM driver writing process. As part of the Glint KMS discussion, it emerged that an independent developer (James Simmons) happened to hack together a 3dfx DRM driver. This was interesting as the work was never published or accepted into the mainline kernel, but today we finally are able to lay our eyes on this open-source 3dfx driver for the Banshee, Voodoo 3, and Voodoo 5 graphics cards.
It's been nearly a month sine the last Linux kernel release candidate with Linux 2.6.35-rc3 having been released on the 12th of June, but Linus Torvalds celebrated Independence Day in the United States yesterday by releasing Linux 2.6.35-rc4. Linus was away on holiday for a while and then it took him sometime to get back to address all of the merge requests.
Earlier this week Qualcomm released an open-source 2D/3D kernel driver for their Snapdragon SoC that's found within the Nexus One, Dell Streak, and many other mobile phones. However, it was just the kernel driver that leveraged their own driver design and no open-source user-space driver, which leads to a dirty mess. David Airlie, the DRM maintainer within the Linux kernel, will not accept open-source kernel drivers that is only used by a closed-source component and as such there's been a lengthy mailing list discussion over the past few days.
Last week when releasing the Linux 2.6.35-rc2 kernel, Linus was upset with the number of late merges and other commits that were receiving pull requests in the Linux 2.6.35 kernel development cycle when the work should instead be now about bug and regression fixes. As such, Linus was going to be much more stringent about what he would allow within the Linux 2.6.35-rc3 kernel and he has indeed followed his tighter rules.
With a week having passed since the release of Linux 2.6.35-rc1, Linus Torvalds has now replaced it with Linux 2.6.35-rc2. This second release candidate for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel brings more changes than Linus would have liked to see, but a bulk of the activity is happening within the kernel's driver staging area.
Last week we reported on a disastrous bug within the Linux 2.6.35 kernel that while this kernel is still months from being officially released, a major regression was introduced that slaughtered the Linux system's performance. This was experienced across multiple systems, architectures, and file-systems. Today we can officially report that this problem has been resolved.
In time for the Memorial Day holiday in the United States tomorrow, Linus Torvalds has closed the Linux 2.6.35 merge window and has also made the 2.6.35-rc1 release.
The Linux 2.6.34 kernel was released only three days ago, but David Airlie has emailed Linus Torvalds and the Linux Kernel Mailing List with the first DRM pull request for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel.
Linus Torvalds has announced this Sunday the release of the Linux 2.6.34 kernel. The release announcement for the Linux 2.6.34 kernel can be read at LKML.org.
Assuming there are no major last minute issues, the Linux 2.6.34 kernel will likely be released in the very near future. Last night Linus put out the Linux 2.6.34-rc7 release, which he hopes will be the last release candidate.
Linus Torvalds released the Linux 2.6.34-rc6 kernel late last night, but the Linux kernel mailing list has been down this morning so there is no release announcement available. Beyond offering up a slew of fixes, the Linux 2.6.34-rc6 kernel ships with VMware's new standalone balloon driver for adjusting the system memory that's allocated to guest VMs in real-time and also the ipeth driver that is used for USB tethering to Apple iPhones.
The Linux 2.6.34 kernel is getting ready to enter the spotlight in May. Linus Torvalds put out the Linux 2.6.34-rc5 kernel release this afternoon, and unlike last week's kernel, there aren't any major regressions that set back this release.
For those not paying close attention to the development cycle for the Linux 2.6.34 kernel, two weeks have passed since the Linux 2.6.34-rc3 release (compared to the usual weekly -rc versions), but today 2.6.34-rc4 is hitting the hands of testers. It's taken longer to get the fourth release candidate of 2.6.34 out the door due to a "really annoying" VM regression that took some days to resolve.
While the Linux 2.6.34-rc2 kernel was messy by the standards of Linus Torvalds, the third release candidate for the Linux 2.6.34 kernel is now available and it should be in much better shape.
David Airlie has just asked Linus to pull in his latest DRM branch for the Linux 2.6.34 kernel. This branch provides fixes to the DRM core, Nouveau, and Radeon KMS. The new Radeon DRM code brings fixes, but it also brings a clean-up to the ASIC tables and GPU recovery support.
Some 18 hours ago the Linux 2.6.34-rc2 version was tagged and is now available, but oddly we have yet to come across a kernel release announcement from Linus Torvalds. However, for those interested in the Linux 2.6.34-rc2 change-log is available.
Following a two week merge window following the release of the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, Linus Torvalds has announced the first release candidate for the next kernel, to be known as the Linux 2.6.34 kernel.
Like with most kernel release cycles, the Linux 2.6.34 kernel had another major GPU DRM update. There's core DRM improvements, the new hybrid graphics switching support, and advancements to the hardware-specific DRM bits. On the Nouveau side for NVIDIA hardware support, there is a major interface break that we talked about last month.
There's already quite a bit of code that has been merged into the Linus 2.6 Git tree for the Linux 2.6.34 kernel tree, but the first pull request for the DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) code has went in this morning.
Con Kolivas had stopped working on the Linux kernel for two years after he became fed up with the kernel development community, but last year he made a return by introducing the BFS scheduler. The BFS scheduler for the Linux kernel is quite simple in design compared to other schedulers, but it performed fairly well on desktop systems. Due to Con's past frustrations, he has no intentions of mainlining the Brain Fuck Scheduler, but he has now offered up another batch of patches.
At the start of the month we talked about GPU switching coming to Linux in a crude form that allowed notebooks with dual GPUs (one being a low-power, low-performance integrated chip and the other being the more performance-oriented GPU that's power hungry) to be switched from without the need for a reboot in Linux. This initial work was just a collection of hacks by David Airlie and it required VT switching after killing the X Server, etc. It also didn't power down the unused GPU. However, as the days passed, this code did more and delayed GPU switching came too.
Now that Linus Torvalds is done rewiring part of his house, he has put out the Linux 2.6.33 kernel release. This update to the Linux kernel that's coming three months after the release of Linux 2.6.32 delivers the Nouveau DRM GPU code in the staging area, many Radeon KMS improvements and it has left the staging area, the new VMware DRM, and much more.
Linus Torvalds has put out the eighth release candidate for the Linux 2.6.33 kernel and it will hopefully serve as the last test build before an official release is made. The Linux 2.6.33-rc8 kernel consists of bug-fixes and resolution of regressions introduced earlier into this kernel development cycle the past few months. Worth noting is that there are also more kernel mode-setting / DRM changes that worked its way in at the last minute.
Linus pushed out the Linux 2.6.33-rc7 kernel yesterday afternoon, but still even being seven release candidates into the Linux 2.6.33 kernel cycle, at least one more test release is due before we may see an official release. The number of regressions for the Linux 2.6.33 kernel is still high and is somthing that isn't pleasing Torvalds.
Two days ago we reported on hybrid graphics coming to Linux in a crude form that allowed switching between graphics processors on notebook computers that utilize dual graphics processors, one that's meant to deliver the best energy efficient performance while the other GPU is for maximizing the graphics performance in demanding environments. Just 24 hours after this kernel patch hit the Internet it already went through four revisions by Red Hat's David Airlie, which delivered better switching and greater notebook compatibility. Since yesterday this patch has already undergone a few more revisions.
Just yesterday morning we reported on hybrid graphics coming to Linux in a crude form, which allowed dual-GPU notebook systems to switch between the onboard GPUs via a kernel patch but what made it crude was that it wasn't seamless switching within the running X.Org Server (it won't be this way for some time) and it didn't actually turn off the other GPU when the other one was in use. In the past 24 hours, however, David Airlie has published three new versions of this Linux kernel patch.
For the past several days benchmarks have been going on a plethora of ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 (R600/700 generation) graphics cards as well as some of the older Radeon X1000 (R500) hardware for reference. All of this testing has been done with the current open-source ATI driver stack with Mesa to show where the performance is at for the H1'2010 Linux distributions. At our disposal is quite a collection of graphics cards, but to much dismay this article has been postponed as the testing process had to be restarted from scratch.
While the support for graphics processors on Linux in the free software stack has improved a lot over Linux, there still are entire areas of support missing, such as with supporting NVIDIA's SLI or AMD's CrossFire technologies. Additionally, NVIDIA and AMD as well as Intel have been plopping dual GPUs into notebooks. This is not to split the rendering workload, but rather to allow one lower-powered GPU to be utilized when not in engaging in any vigorous tasks and then another performance-oriented GPU to be utilized when such speed is needed. This solution basically provides the best of both words of having maximum battery life but fast performance when needed. However, Linux has not supported this hybrid / switchable graphics technology at all.
Linus has put out the Linux 2.6.33-rc6 kernel release. This release candidate for the Linux 2.6.33 kernel is on time arriving precisely one week after the Linux 2.6.33-rc5 release.
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