The Changes So Far For The Linux 4.14 Kernel: Zstd, Cgroup2 Threads, EXT4 Scalability

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 10 September 2017 at 10:23 AM EDT. 2 Comments
We are now through week one of the two week kernel merge window for Linux 4.14. Here is a look at the most prominent changes and new features queued so far for the Linux 4.14 kernel.

Linux 4.14 is also the 2017 Linux LTS kernel update and among the changes to be found so far over the first week of the merge window is:

- Intel 5-level paging support and AMD Secure Memory Encryption are two notable additions. AMD Secure Memory Encryption is supported by the new EPYC processors.

- The addition of the ORC unwinder that has the potential to improve Linux kernel performance by now allowing frame pointers to be disabled while still being a practical kernel for debugging.

- A new Realtek WiFi driver was added to the staging area (Realtek RTL8822BE "rtlwifi").

- EFI improvements and from the end-user perspective there should be fixed rebooting support for some quirk devices, such as some Bay Trail tablets.

- Zstd (Zstandard) compression support within the Linux kernel and initial implementations for Zstd file-system compression in Btrfs and SquashFS.

- Beyond the Zstd compression, Btrfs fixes and prep work for features coming over the next merge window or two.

- EXT4 scalability improvements -- benchmarks soon!

- Many XFS fixes.

- BFQ and CFQ updates among other Linux block work and I/O scheduler improvements.

- Cgroup2 threading support.

- AMD Secure Processor support continues being worked on for modern AMD CPUs/APUs.

- Rewritten Intel Cache Quality Monitoring.

- Continued P-State changes and other power management tweaking.

- ARM64 improvements.

- SPARC CPU updates including some M7/M8 optimizations.

- Various Xen and KVM updates for Linux virtualization.

- Microsoft Hyper-V optimizations.

- New sound support / quirk additions for the Linux audio drivers.

- Various HID updates.

- A number of new media drivers.

Stay tuned for more Linux 4.14 feature overviews followed by our benchmarks to come of this next Linux LTS kernel update.
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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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