Linux 5.17-rc3 Restores FBDEV Hardware-Accelerated Scrolling, Mixed Bag of Random Stuff

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 6 February 2022 at 03:55 PM EST. 6 Comments
Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.17-rc3 as the latest test kernel for Linux 5.17 that should be out as stable before the end of March.

As for this week's changes, Torvalds summed it up in the release announcement:
The diffstat shows that we've had more filesystem activity than is perhaps usual, The filesystem activity is all over, ranging from cifs re-introducing fscache support after the rewrite, to vfs-level error handling fixes, to just regular filesystem-specific fixes (btrfs, ext4, xfs), to some unicode Kconfig cleanups. So it's not one single thing, it just happened that we had more filesystem stuff than is perhaps common at this point.

That said, driver fixes (networking, gpu, sound, pin control, platform drivers,scsi etc) still dominate. On the driver side, some reverts to re-enable hw-accelerated scrolling for legacy fbdev devices perhaps stand out.

Outside of that, it's a mixed bag of random stuff - the usual arch updates (kvm noise stands out), generic networking and core kernel, and tooling (selftests and perf). And some documentation fixes.

The FBDEV/FBCON hardware-accelerated scrolling support is a revert of the code previously disabling it. This is being restored since disabling it introduced a performance penalty for graphics cards that were previously capable of providing 2D hardware acceleration. The code that originally called for disabling the acceleration had claimed that Nouveau, OMAPDRM, and GMA500 were the only users when that turned out to be inaccurate. There are close to three dozen FBDEV drivers that did make use of it... But the revert does acknowledge some bugs are present in the accelerated scrolling code. See the revert for more details and the prior 2020 article: Linux Frame-Buffer Console To Drop Accelerated Scrolling Since It's Full Of Bugs.

Linux 5.17-rc3 has lots of file-system churn plus "a mixed bag of random stuff".

See the 5.17-rc3 announcement for more details.

While not specific to this week's activity, see our Linux 5.17 feature overview for a look at what's ahead for this next major kernel release.
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