The Many Great Features & Changes Coming For The Linux 4.17 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 15 April 2018. Page 2 of 2. 1 Comment

File-Systems / Storage:

F2FS continues picking up new features, Btrfs RAID continues being improved upon, and the other usual Linux file-system work.

- The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) now has lost and found support as well as performance enhancements and no-wait AIO support.

- EXT4 protection against maliciously crafted container images, among other bug fixes and code improvements.

- XFS lazy time handling as an alternative to "noatime".

- A no spread option for Btrfs along with RAID improvements and other enhancements for this feature-rich Linux file-system.

Power Management:

The idle power management change is quite exciting! I'm running benchmarks currently.

- Very exciting is a change that will allow some systems to see their idle power drop by ~10%+ and even enhancing the performance of some workloads if they were previously bound by the idle loop overhead. Tests forthcoming!

- The ACPI TAD driver was added. This provides wake-up/alarm functionality using the ACPI Time and Alarm specifications.

- PCI-E ASPM fixes and other work.

- Intel Cannonlake RAPL power-capping driver support.

- CPUFreq clean-ups.


Linux on laptops continues getting better.

- Improvements for the Macintosh PowerBook 100 series. Yes, the Apple laptops from the early 1990's using the Motorola processors.

- Multi-touch support for the Razer Blade Stealth laptop.

- Various Dell / Fujitsu / Lenovo platform driver improvements.

Other Hardware:

New hardware support, including for a popular flight controller for simulators and ongoing USB/Thunderbolt improvements.

- PhoenixRC flight controller support. A new driver supports this controller used for model airplanes/helicopters/drones.

- PS/2 mouse improvements if you happen to have any old A4Tech mice having a second wheel.

- Thunderbolt SL4/USB security level handling. There's also now support for the new Intel Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controller.

- USB Type-C improvements.

- USB Audio Class 3.0 support as well as some new sound drivers for lesser known hardware.

- Extending the life of RTCs by now allowing the time to be offset for the real-time clocks.

Other Stuff:

- The Linux Kernel Memory Consistency Model was added to the tree.

- Lots of spring cleaning within Linux staging yielding a drop of around 64 thousand lines of code.

- Various other small updates.

Stay tuned for the Linux 4.17 kernel benchmarking to get underway at Phoronix. If you appreciate all of the original reporting, Linux hardware reviews, and benchmarking that happens every single day at Phoronix, please consider showing your support by ensuring no ad-blockers are enabled when viewing this site, joining Phoronix Premium to enjoy ad-free viewing and multi-page articles on a single page, or tipping via PayPal to allow this work to continue.

As of this Sunday morning, from Linux 4.16.0 to Git master there are 13,425 files changed and 624,520 lines of new code and 811,141 lines of code removed. So even with all these new features/improvements, Linux 4.17 is on track to be about two hundred thousand lines of code smaller than Linux 4.16! This is largely due to the removal of the obsolete CPU architectures freeing up around five hundred thousand lines of code.

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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