New Features To Look Out For With The Linux 4.2 Kernel
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 14 June 2015 at 10:51 AM EDT. 2 Comments
With Linux 4.1 likely being released in the next week, for Phoronix-reading Linux enthusiasts it's time to start thinking about Linux 4.2. Here's a look at some of the new features coming for this next kernel cycle.

Among the features to look out for with Linux 4.2 will be:

- The new AMDGPU kernel driver! This is likely what we're most looking forward to with Linux 4.2 as this new DRM driver will allow the R9 285 "Tonga" to finally work on open-source code and is needed for supporting the forthcoming AMD Carrizo APUs and forthcoming Rx 300 series hardware. There's also new user-space code to use in conjunction with the AMDGPU kernel driver as already talked about in many Phoronix articles. Stay tuned for our benchmarks with Linux 4.2 Git code!

- AMD VCE 1.0 support is another exciting open-source AMD addition with this video encode support going into the Radeon DRM driver.

- Improvements to Intel Haswell/Broadwell power consumption.

- The VirtIO GPU DRM driver is another new addition coming for Linux 4.2 that's already sitting in DRM-Next. This will help users of the open-source Linux virtualization stack and is a stepping-stone towards Virgil3D support for finally having OpenGL/3D acceleration within guest VMs under QEMU/KVM, but that code is still months away.

- Adreno A306 support via Freedreno's MSM driver.

- More work on AMD KERNCZ chipset support.

- Better SSD performance with the CFQ I/O scheduler thanks to defaulting to the IOPS mode for solid-state drives.

- Potentially we might see KDBUS try to go for mainline inclusion after not making it into Linux 4.1, but it's not clear yet if it's ready to be accepted into the mainline tree.

- Various Intel graphics updates, including continued improvements for Intel's upcoming Skylake processors.

- EFI system resource table support (ESRT) that is needed for working out the Linux (U)EFI firmware updates to be driven from the Linux desktop thanks to work being done by Red Hat. This UEFI/BIOS updating will work with UEFI 2.5+ systems and should be ready by the time Fedora 23 rolls around.

- We might see the ACPI6 non-volatile memory device support ready for Linux 4.2.

- F2FS file-system encryption support is another likely feature.

- Improvements to the AMDKFD driver for AMD HSA support via open-source software.

Stay tuned for plenty more Linux 4.2 coverage as soon as its merge window kicks off -- likely next weekend. There will also be daily kernel Git benchmarks over at
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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 or contacted via

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