Some Of The Features Coming To The Linux 4.16 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 21 January 2018 at 09:00 AM EST. Add A Comment
Linux 4.15 will hopefully be released later today and that will kick off the start of the Linux 4.16 kernel merge window. Here's some of what is coming to this next kernel cycle.

Among the material on the table for Linux 4.16 includes:

- More optimizations/improvements around Meltdown/Spectre mitigations, including Variant One mitigations and KPTI/Retpoline tuning/optimizations as well as ARM64 KPTI support. Some of this may be back-ported to earlier kernels.

- Many DRM driver improvements from more AMDGPU DC action to Intel Cannonlake improvements and more happenings for the smaller Direct Rendering Manager drivers.

- SoundWire is finally arriving to Linux 4.16 as a new subsystem.

- The long-awaited mainlining of the VirtualBox Guest Driver as part of getting more of the VBox kernel code upstream.

- AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization for KVM/Linux in 4.16 for EPYC and Ryzen Pro users.

- Jailhouse guest support for this hypervisor developed the past few years by Siemens.

- BPF error injection support.

- Skylake X P-State support.

- Some new sound drivers, most notably for some Allwinner SoC users.

- Input and HID updates including more Year 2038 fixes.

- LightNVM 2.0 support appears to be in place.

- Btrfs RAID improvements.

- ARMv8.4 additions.

- More BFQ optimizations for delivering better performance out of this I/O scheduler.

Stay tuned for more Linux 4.16 feature talk when the merge window opens and we get a better idea of all the changes in place for this next kernel release. Of course, as Linux 4.16 settles down there will be plenty of benchmarks on Phoronix.
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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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