Linux 4.17 Kicks Off Another Busy Cycle
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 3 April 2018 at 06:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
LINUX KERNEL --
It's been just about twenty-four hours that Linus Torvalds has been accepting new material for the Linux 4.17 mainline kernel and it's looking indeed like it will be another very busy kernel update.

Aside from the prominent pull requests issued so far among other early Linux 4.17 coverage on Phoronix, below is a collection of a few other pulls worth pointing out from yesterday but weren't large enough to each warrant their own article.

Remove in-kernel calls to syscalls - With system calls being intended for user-space to kernel-space interaction, Dominik Brodowski has been reworking existing in-kernel code that is relying upon syscalls. With Linux 4.17+ for at least x86 64-bit it will be a hard requirement to not call system call functions from within the kernel, rather to use a different calling convention for system calls. See the PR for more details.

x86/mm - The x86 memory management updates have AMD SME/SEV fixes for this memory encryption support, prep support for Intel's forthcoming RAM/memory encryption capabilities, improved 5-level paging support, and support for booting as a Xen PVH guest.

x86/build - Due to now relying upon asm-goto support for Linux x86 code, the Linux 4.17+ kernel effectively raises the Linux kernel's compiler requirement now to at least GCC 4.5 when doing x86/x86_64 kernel builds.

scheduler - More interesting Linux kernel scheduler work including seemingly never-ending NUMA balancing improvements as well as more load tracking improvements, NOHZ balancing optimizations, and improved blocked load handling. There's also various other scheduler code clean-ups.

Stay tuned for more details on the Linux 4.17 features with its merge window being open through 15 April followed by our usual kernel benchmarking dance beginning.
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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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