Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 22 October 2014 at 02:10 AM EDT. Add A Comment
With Linux 3.18-rc1 arriving one week early I didn't have a chance to write a feature overview of Linux 3.18 prior to this first development release that marked the close of the merge window. For those that didn't stay up to date with our dozens of Linux 3.18 kernel articles about changes and new features, here's a concise overview.

Highlights to the Linux 3.18 kernel include:

DRM Graphics:

- Re-clocking improvements for AMD's Radeon driver.

- Radeon R600 UVD hardware-accelerated video decoding support for old ATI/AMD GPUs of the Radeon HD 3000 series.

- Radeon Userptr support.

- Numerous Intel graphics enhancements across the board.

- Nouveau DisplayPort audio, other re-clocking work, and various other enhancements for this open-source NVIDIA driver.

- Other DRM improvements.

Linux Hardware:

- Many new media drivers.

- New support for ARM SoCs on Linux.

- AMD Carrizo thermal monitoring.

- Razer Sabertooth support and other input device improvements.

- Wacom tablet enhancements.

- ACPI and power management improvements.

- PCI support on 64-bit ARM (ARM64/AArch64).

- Faster suspend and resume on large servers / many CPU cores.


- Btrfs improvements with recovery and repair in RAID configurations being notable.

- F2FS additions like FITRIM support, atomic/volatile writes, and much more.

- Many minor XFS improvements.

- Cleaning and bug fixing happened for EXT4.

- The mailbox framework has finally been mainlined.


- Xen PVSCSI support.

- Firmware core-dumps to user-space via sysfs for allowing better debugging of GPU/WiFi microcode issues and other complex firmware problems.

- USB improvements.

- 64-bit ARM is more friendly to Clang although the mainline Linux kernel can't yet build under LLVM/Clang on any architecture quite yet. There's also other LLVMLinux/Clang-compatible alterations that landed in Linux 3.18 outside of the AArch64 work.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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