Linux 4.17 Will Be Another Exciting Kernel Cycle
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 12 March 2018 at 09:17 AM EDT. 5 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
While the Linux 4.16 kernel release is still three weeks or so away, the Linux 4.17 kernel is already shaping up to be another exciting cycle.

Some of what is already on the radar for Linux 4.17 includes:

- Intel Cannonlake graphics support will be considered stable and no longer hidden behind the i915.alpha_support=1 support flag. Cannonlake CPUs will introduce Intel "Gen 10" graphics later this year.

- Initial Icelake support for these "Gen 11" graphics succeeding Cannonlake. The Icelake graphics support is still preliminary and will likely be a few kernel cycles until this code is all squared away.

- Various other Intel improvements to its i915 DRM graphics driver.

- Initial discrete GPU support for AMDKFD meaning that at least some Radeon graphics cards should now be able to work with the ROCm compute stack on the mainline kernel, including the ROCm OpenCL component. But not all of the GPUVM work was ready in time and some hardware like the latest Vega GPUs still need more work until it will be ready, but at least Polaris and friends should be good to go.

- Raven Ridge desktop APUs should now be in good shape.

- Radeon WattMan functionality is coming to Linux and exposing more voltage/power controls via sysfs and other power-related improvements for the AMDGPU DRM driver.

- A Microsoft developer's work on the new XArrays data structure for the Linux kernel is poised to land.

- Possible Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller support could land with the patches appearing to be settled down.

- Allwinner A83T HDMI support.

- We are likely to see more upstreaming work on the Xavier SoC from NVIDIA's Tegra product family.

- There's also the possibility of i.MX8 SoC support now that the hardware is finally getting out there.

- Also possible is the new lockdown work when in UEFI SecureBoot mode to further restrict what the kernel and hardware can do in this security mode.

- Initial HDCP support for v1.4 in the Intel DRM driver. This is the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection support that has been controversial for some users.

- Continued landing of the newly introduced RISC-V architecture code for the Linux kernel.

Plus a whole lot more work is sure to be landing for Linux 4.17 that we'll cover as we continue digging through the mailing lists and Git repositories along with our close coverage of the 4.17 merge window when that happens next month. The Linux 4.17.0 kernel should make its way to Linux distributions as a stable update around early to mid June depending upon how the rest of the 4.16 kernel cycle goes and how eventful the 4.17 RC releases end up being.

About The Author
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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 10,000 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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