Looking Forward To The Linux 4.4 Merge Window Next Week
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 28 October 2015 at 08:22 AM EDT. Add A Comment
LINUX KERNEL --
If all goes well, Linux 4.3 will be released this weekend followed by the opening of the merge window for Linux 4.4.

There's a lot to be excited for with this next kernel cycle. Among the work I've already covered thus far as likely material for Linux 4.4 includes:

- The kernel bits needed for VirGL to QEMU guest VMs can finally have 3D hardware acceleration.

- Continued maturing of AMDGPU that also includes enabling the GPU scheduler by default.

- Some Nouveau re-clocking improvements for older NVIDIA GPUs and an assortment of other fixes.

- Snapdragon 820 support for the Freedreno MSM driver.

- Intel is still polishing Skylake and Broxton hardware support.

- The initial Raspberry Pi KMS driver but it doesn't yet have power management or hardware acceleration.

- The start of Richacls.

- TPM 2.0 support is ready for those needing trusted computing.

- The interactive governor for CPUFreq is a possibility, but might be pushed off.

Stay tuned for more Linux 4.4 coverage on Phoronix next week once the merge window opens for coverage of the less frequently covered kernel areas.

The elephant in the room is whether KDBUS will be requested for Linux 4.4 as the new in-kernel IPC mechanism sought after by the systemd crew. Sadly not part of Linux 4.4 is GPU re-clocking / power management for Tonga and Fiji with the new AMDGPU DRM driver. There's also no big re-clocking breakthroughs for Fermi/Kepler GPUs on Nouveau and these open-source NVIDIA driver developers are also still waiting for NVIDIA to released signed microcode files so that Maxwell hardware acceleration can move forward for the GTX 900 series.

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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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