Linux 4.15 Is Set To Sail Today With AMDGPU DC, Zen Temperature Monitoring, RISC-V
Due to all of the ongoing KPTI/Retpoline changes over the past month to address Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities, the Linux 4.15 development cycle dragged on much longer than anticipated and the longest cycle in about seven years. But there is the initial KPTI and Retpoline support baked in, which has also been backported to some recent stable series. However, further tuning and optimizations to these mitigation techniques are still expected for Linux 4.16 and beyond. Using this functionality can degrade performance particularly for I/O workloads and others interacting heavily with the kernel, but hopefully some of the work coming up will further lighten the impact. Among the many features coming to Linux 4.16 are also PowerPC and ARM work in this space for their relevant exposure.
With this long release cycle coming in through the fixes pull has also been other regression/bug fixes and other minor improvements like support for PDP Xbox One controllers. That's on top of the many Linux 4.15 features added during the merge window.
Exciting me the most about Linux 4.15 is that AMDGPU DC support is in place for allowing HDMI/DP audio on newer GPUs, Radeon RX Vega and Raven Ridge display support, atomic mode-setting, and other work. Linux 4.15 also enables Coffee Lake graphics support by default, VR HMD improvements, RISC-V architecture support, better AVX-512 support, AMD Zen temperature monitoring and more.
Once Linux 4.15.0 is out, the two week Linux 4.16 kernel merge window is open so stay tuned to Phoronix for our punctual and original reporting of the new work on that front. Hopefully the Linux 4.16 cycle won't drag on as long as 4.15, with already getting excited for Linux 4.17 further out due to the AMDKFD dGPU support, initial Intel Icelake support, and other work on our radar.