A Look At The New Features Of The Linux 4.4 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 15 November 2015. Page 2 of 2. 10 Comments

This racing wheel is now supported with the Linux 4.4 kernel.

Other Hardware

- Intel Lewisburg sound support with Lewisburg being the codename of the chipset for Intel's next-generation Purley platform.

- Better support for Skylake Windows 8 precision touchpads as well as a new Corsair Vengeance K90 keyboard driver and support for the Logitech G29 racing wheel.

- Support for Google Fiber TV's remote control.

- Better support for Toshiba laptops.

- Numerous x86 KVM changes.

- The usual smothering of ACPI and power management changes.

- Maturing TPM 2.0 support (Trusted Platform Module 2).

- Chrome platform updates that include work for the Pixel 2015 and reading/writing to the verified boot context.

- Special handling to support the ESC key on a new Lenovo laptop.

Running A Btrfs RAID Array Across Four USB 3.0 Flash Drives

File-Systems / Storage

- Important EXT4 encryption fixes with Ted Ts'o encouraging any users of EXT4's native encryption support to get the latest changes as of Linux 4.4. If you are curious how to start using EXT4 encryption as introduced a few kernels ago, see this how-to guide.

- Continued fixes for Btrfs RAID 5/6.

- Better stability and performance with the Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS).

- A persistent reservation API for block devices.

- LightNVM / Open-Channel SSD support.

- Clustered RAID 1 and Journaled RAID 5 support within the kernel's MD code.

- Routine updates for XFS.


- More than 2,400 patches for the Linux kernel staging area.

- x86 Assembly code continues to be rewritten in C.

- Optimized SHA crypto support using Intel's SHA Extensions.

- The Kconfig's xconfig utility was ported to Qt5.

Not present for Linux 4.4 is KDBUS as that's gone back to the drawing board. There's also nothing new to report on any other currently out-of-tree projects like Reiser4, ZFS, the BFS scheduler, etc. Similar to AMDGPU PowerPlay support missing the Linux 4.4 kernel merge window, not landed yet is Intel's new open-source code for Kabylake, the next-generation successor to Skylake that's due out in 2016, but should be ready for Linux 4.5.

Stay tuned to Phoronix.com for all of our usual kernel performance tests from the graphics driver changes to file-system/disk tests and more. There's also daily Linux Git performance benchmarks being done on Ubuntu systems and various Fedora machines via LinuxBenchmarking.com.

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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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