The Best Features Of The Linux 4.9 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 7 December 2016 at 06:55 AM EST. 2 Comments
With the Linux 4.9 kernel expected for release this coming weekend, here is a recap of some of the most interesting changes for this next big kernel release.

Linux 4.9 has a ton of changes, but if trying to come up with a quick/concise list of the most notable work, it would likely include:

- Memory Protection Keys (MPK) are now mainlined.

- Support for vmapped kernel stacks, one of Torvalds' favorite features for Linux 4.9.

- Experimental AMDGPU Southern Islands support / GCN 1.0 for AMDGPU, but keep in mind it's disabled by default and needs to be set at kernel build-time, similar to the experimental GCN 1.1 / CIK support for AMDGPU DRM.

- Improved P-State performance for some Intel Atom CPUs.

- AMDGPU virtual display support.

- Support for 29 more ARM machines by the mainline Linux kernel.

- The introduction of a new subsystem, Greybus.

- Various file-system improvements.

A more extensive list of the Linux 4.9 changes can be found from our earlier 4.9 feature overview. Look for Linux 4.9.0 to land on 11 December followed by the Linux 4.10 merge window, which in turn should coincidentally wrap up on Christmas or Christmas Eve, should Linus Torvalds decided to tag 4.10-rc1 early.

What are you most excited about for Linux 4.9? What are you looking forward to with Linux 4.10? Let us know on Twitter or 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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