Six Interesting Features Of The Linux 4.6 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 15 May 2016 at 09:05 AM EDT. Add A Comment
If all goes well before the day is through will be the release of the Linux 4.6 kernel. If you've been behind on your Phoronix readings the past few weeks, here are the highlights to look forward to with Linux 4.6.

Six features of Linux 4.6 that excite me include:

- Mainline support for a number of new ARM SoCs and platforms/boards!

- Various Radeon and AMDGPU improvements to make the open-source AMD graphics driver stack more stable and robust.

- Initial NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell" open-source support! While Pascal is days away from shipping, with Linux 4.6 there is finally 3D/acceleration support for Maxwell when grabbing NVIDIA's signed firmware blobs they've made available. Before getting too excited, the support isn't as mature as Kepler and they don't yet have any re-clocking support for being able to provide good performance.

- Runtime AHCI power management for greater power savings.

- Dell and Alienware laptop support improvements, including for the popular Dell XPS 13 Skylake laptop.

- Better security for 32-bit Linux programs.

These were just six interesting new features of Linux 4.6. To read about the dozens of other changes, see my complete Linux 4.6 feature overview.
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About The Author
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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