Linux 4.16 Is Off To A Busy Start With Big New Features

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 1 February 2018 at 01:00 PM EST. Add A Comment
We are less than half-way into the Linux 4.16 kernel merge window and it's already proven to be a very busy cycle with significant additions to the Linux code-base.

As expected there is a ton new functionality on the way to the mainline Linux kernel. As of writing this morning, since the v4.15.0 kernel release, mainline Git is already heavier by a net gain of about 140,000 lines more in the kernel and around five thousand files modified. We still have until 11 February when the Linux 4.16 merge window is officially over and then around two months worth of release candidates.

Among the Linux 4.16 features so far include:

- A change that should yield much faster performance for small I/O.

- 64-bit ARM mitigation work for Meltdown and Spectre Variant Two.

- Cleaned up Spectre and Meltdown code for code originally introduced in Linux 4.15.

- Three new driver subsystems are introduced: Siox, Slimbus, and Soundwire.

- Smarter task migration to improve the scalability of Linux.

- Jailhouse guest support for this Siemens-developed Linux hypervisor.

- L2 CDP support for L2 cache partitioning with Intel CPUs via RDT.

- Tightening access to /dev/mem by default.

- Correct Threadripper 1900X temperature reporting along with other hwmon updates.

- A wide variety of networking improvements.

- The XFS file-system has continued major reworking and feature improvements.

- More RAID 5/6 fixes for the Btrfs file-system.

- Various improvements to the F2FS file-system.

- The usual smothering of block updates touching BCache, NVMe, etc.

- The VirtualBox Guest driver was finally mainlined.

- More code is graduating from staging.

- New Wacom device support and other HID device additions.

- ARM improvements in the crypto subsystem.

- PCID support for Microsoft Hyper-V guests. This should help with KPTI-enabled kernels that benefit from Process Context Identifiers.

- New sound drivers including for the Allwinner A83T and various Maxim and TI devices.

- P-State driver support for Skylake-X systems.

Stay tuned to Phoronix for more on the new features coming for Linux 4.16 and other code improvements. Once the code churn settles down there will be plenty of benchmarks on Phoronix looking at the performance of this new kernel and complementing the automated kernel performance tests done every other day already via
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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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