The Best Features Of The Linux 4.8 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 2 October 2016 at 11:00 AM EDT. 6 Comments
If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.8 kernel will be officially released this afternoon by Linus Torvalds.

While I already wrote a Linux 4.8 feature overview immediately following the closure of the 4.8 merge window, here is a reminder of the best features (at least from my perspective with kernel testing and analysis on a daily basis) for Linux 4.8:

AMDGPU OverDrive Support - For the first time ever, the open-source AMD Linux driver stack supports overclocking! However, it's limited to the CLI-only via sysfs and will only work with GPUs supported by the AMDGPU kernel driver.

Initial NVIDIA Pascal Support - Nouveau has initial support for Pascal GPUs, but unfortunately no support for the consumer GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 graphics cards. Only the GP100 is supported so far until NVIDIA ends up releasing the signed firmware blobs for supporting the open-source driver with the consumer GeForce GTX 1000 series hardware.

HDMI CEC - The HDMI CEC framework has been talked about for years and developed out-of-tree while with Linux 4.8 this framework is finally there. HDMI CEC is short for the Consumer Electronics Control and allows HDMI-connected devices to be commanded and controlled by a user with a single remote control.

Raspberry Pi 3 SoC - The Broadccom BCM2837 SoC is supported by the mainline Linux 4.8 kernel. There is also a variety of other ARM improvements for Linux 4.8, including the new reboot mode driver.

Btrfs ENOSPC Rework - For users of the Btrfs file-system, a big rework happened for this release.

Security Improvements - New features like hardened usercopy protection and ASLR for kernel memory sections and /dev/random improvements.

Plus many other changes as outlined in the earlier Linux 4.8 feature overview.

What are you most excited about for Linux 4.8? What do you hope to share in Linux 4.9? Share your thoughts with us in the forums.
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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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