The New Features & Exciting Changes Of The Linux 4.10 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 23 December 2016 at 08:30 AM EST. Page 1 of 3. 16 Comments.

Linus Torvalds is expected to release the Linux 4.10-rc1 kernel this weekend ahead of Christmas and thereby marking the formal end of the 4.10 merge window, but with all of the major pull requests already submitted and Linus tending not to honor last-minute pull requests of big changes, here is our usual look at the exciting changes and new features you will be able to find with the Linux 4.10 kernel.

While you can try out the Linux 4.10 Git code today or any of the weekly release candidates, those sticking to stable releases will find Linux 4.10 debut around the middle of February if there are no delays in Torvalds' usual release practices. The one sentence overview would be lots of open-source graphics driver work (as always), the open-source NVIDIA driver is killing it with this release, Intel TBM3 support, UBIFS file-encryption, more AMD Zen/Ryzen code, more ARM SoCs/platforms being mainlined, DAX iomap support, and a fair amount of other new hardware support. The detailed highlights of Linux 4.10 from my perspective of "interesting stuff" are:


- The open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) DRM driver this time around is quite exciting after missing out on their changes for Linux 4.9. Work here includes atomic mode-setting, DisplayPort MST, performance-improving BOOST support, a LED driver for the light-up cards, and more.

If atomic mode-setting or boost support doesn't get you excited in the open-source NVIDIA driver for Linux 4.10, at least you can now control the green LEDs on relevant NVIDIA graphics cards with 4.10...

- The AMDGPU DRM driver has power management fixes, RPM fan information exposed, and GPU VM manager work.

- The GCN 1.0 / Southern Islands support in AMDGPU is still experimental and disabled by default but there are some improvements for interested users.

- Intel GVT support is being prepped and should be in good shape for Linux 4.11. A lot of other GVT-related code landed via the other pull requests for this graphics virtualization technology out of Intel Corp.

- The Intel DRM driver also had scheduler prep work and priority boosting as some of their latest feature work.

- The Raspberry Pi VC4 DRM driver has ETC1 texture compression and fragment shader threading support.

- Freedreno's MSM DRM driver has initial Adreno A5xx support thanks in part to work by Qualcomm's Code Aurora group.

- Three new DRM drivers: the ZTE VOU ZX, Amlogic Meson, and MXS FB.

- Outside of DRM, the Linux kernel now has no one left as FBDEV maintainer.

Next section the AMD Zen/Ryzen fun and more...

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