The Best Changes & Features Of The Linux 3.19 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 8 February 2015 at 09:52 AM EST. 10 Comments
If all goes according to plan the Linux 3.19 kernel will be released by the end of today.

Last Sunday when releasing Linux 3.19-rc7, Linus Torvalds mentioned he was looking at doing the official 3.19 release in one week. It seems to have been a relatively calm week to end out 3.19 development with no nasty regressions turning up, so chances are in a few hours he'll have the new release out the door.

If you haven't been keeping up with the dozens of Phoronix articles about Linux 3.19's development and features, here's another look at some of the Linux 3.19 features/changes that excite me the most... At the bottom of the article is a more exhaustive list of both popular and niche features for this next kernel update.

- Open-source AMD HSA is closer to reality with the landing of the AMDKFD driver that can be used in conjunction with AMD's Radeon Gallium3D stack and their new HSA library to provide basic support for HSA with basic OpenCL kernels. The open-source HSA Linux support is continuing to be polished over the months ahead.

- Initial hardware enablement for Intel's next-generation Skylake graphics. While Broadwell hardware is just starting to appear in many designs, Intel has already started pumping out a lot of Skylake Linux code.

- DPM fan control support within the Radeon driver to help out some noisy modern graphics cards with the open-source driver.

- Basic support for the NVIDIA GeForce 900 series albeit this Nouveau driver support doesn't yet include hardware acceleration.

- Btrfs RAID 5 / RAID 6 improvements at long last.

- LZ4 compression in SquashFS.

- Improved multi-touch support.

- Reworked ThinkPad muting button changes.

For my more exhaustive list of the most exciting changes in Linux 3.19, see my earlier article, Features Of The Linux 3.19 Kernel: Graphics & Disks Rule. You can also find my plenty of other Linux 3.19 kernel coverage.

Next up is the Linux 3.20 kernel, which originally was going to turn into the Linux 4.0 kernel, but Linus Torvalds hasn't talked about Linux 4.0 recently.
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Michael Larabel

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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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