Many Network, WiFi, & eBPF Changes For The Linux 4.4 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 7 November 2015 at 11:05 AM EST. 8 Comments
The networking subsystem update landed earlier this week in the Linux 4.4 Git code and it comes with several new features.

Among the networking changes that caught my attention were:

- Support for non-root execution of eBPF programs for the in-kernel virtual machine. When running an eBPF program as an unprivileged user, there's safeguards to prevent pointer leaks and other security precautions.

- BPF also now has support for persistent maps/programs. The persistent support allows maps/programs to survive process termination, which is used just for certain use-cases.

- A new rtl8xxxu driver. This is an alternate driver for the Realtek WiFi USB devices using chipsets like the RTL8723AU, RTL8188CU, RTL8188RU, RTL8191CU, and RTL8192CU. This rtl8xxxu driver was written by a Red Hat developer and utilizes the Linux mac80211 stack as a rewrite of the rtl8723au driver.

- VHT (Very High Throughput) MESH support and MESH support within the ath10k driver.

- The TCP listerner handling is now completely lockless.

- Offload features are enabled by default for the 8139cp driver.

- The VXLAN driver now supports both IPv4 and IPv6 sockets for a single VXLAN device.

- Several Year 2038 problem fixes in the networking code.

- VRF (Virtual Routing and Forwarding) support in the IPv6 stack.

A complete list of the interesting Linux 4.4 networking changes can be found via this Git merge to mainline.
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