The Many Features Of The Linux 4.1 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 26 April 2015 at 02:45 PM EDT. Add A Comment
The Linux 4.1 kernel merge window has been open now for two weeks and will most likely be closed by Linus Torvalds this evening. For those curious about the Linux 4.1 features, here's a look at the newest additions to the mainline Linux kernel!

At least what caught my interest with monitoring the Linux kernel Git and mailing lists over the past two weeks, highlights for the Linux 4.1 merge window include:

Graphics / DRM:

- The Nouveau DRM driver now supports generating its own firmware for the GeForce GTX 750 series! Benchmarks forthcoming.

- Intel XenGT vGPU support for Intel graphics virtualization on Linux.

- The introduction of the virtual GEM graphics driver (vGEM).

- Radeon DisplayPort MST support.

- Numerous other open-source Linux graphics improvements.

File-Systems / Disks:

- EXT4 now supports file-system level encryption after being a feature driven by Google for Android.

- TraceFS was added to the Linux kernel.

- F2FS enhancements.

- Various XFS updates.

- Multi-queue block layer improvements.

- RAID 5 / 6 improvements for MD Software RAID.

- Disk drives with the supported capability can now take use of NCQ Autosense.

- Btrfs improvements for massive file-systems.


- Better performance for Cherry Trail / Bay Trail Intel hardware.

- Chrome OS Lightbar support.

- Dell and Toshiba x86 laptop support improvements.

- Force feedback / rumble for the Xbox One controller.

- Linux audio modernization work.

- Continued Intel Skylake enablement, the successor to Broadwell CPUs that will start shipping in the second half of this year.

- ARM and x86 power management improvements.

- ACPI for 64-bit ARM (AArch64 / ARM64)..

- Better entropy for AMD Bulldozer CPUs.

- New Wacom HID support.

- There's the new PMEM driver.

- Google Chromebook Pixel 2 support improvements.

- New ARM support improvements, including mainline support for the Annapurna Alpine.


- x86 / ASM code cleaning.

- eBPF programs can attach to Kprobes as the latest for this universal, in-kernel virtual machine.

- More eBPF improvements.

- Code clean-ups thanks to the GNOME OPW / Outreachy women project.

Stay tuned for Linux 4.1 kernel benchmarks beginning in the near future!
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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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