Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Linux Kernel 4.6 Released With OrangeFS, USB 3.1, SSP Support And More..

Linux Kernel 4.6 Released
With OrangeFS, USB 3.1, SSP Support And More..

Linux 4.6 is out now.., brings greater support for ARM based chips

Linus Torvalds this week(15 / MAY / 2016) released the final production for version 4.6 of the Linux kernel.
Prominent features of Linux kernel 4.6 include the implementation of the OrangeFS distributed file system, support for the USB 3.1 SuperSpeed Plus (SSP) protocol, offering transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, improvements to the reliability of the Out Of Memory task killer, as well as support for Intel Memory protection keys.

He states his accomplishment in the announcement below:

"It's just as well I didn't cut the rc cycle short, since the last week ended up getting a few more fixes than expected, but nothing in there feels all that odd or out of line. So 4.6 is out there at the normal schedule, and that obviously also means that I'll start doing merge window pull requests for 4.7 starting tomorrow. Since rc7, there's been small noise all over, with driver fixes being the bulk of it, but there is minor noise all over (perf tooling, networking, filesystems, documentation, some small arch fixes.) The appended shortlog will give you a feel for what's been going on during the last week. The 4.6 kernel on the whole was a fairly big release - more commits than we've had in a while. But it all felt fairly calm despite that."

Apart from the above mentioned enhancements, version 4.6 of the Linux kernel, offers enhancements for ARM processors and touchscreens.

One of the biggest changes in Linux 4.6 is support for a more ARM based mobile chipsets, which no doubt includes the 14nm FinFET and might we add extremely powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. Additionally, IBM's POWER9 finds its first support, even though the chip is not going to arrive until late 2016.

The foundation also noted the kernel adds performance enhancements and features for 64-bit ARM architecture. The half-precision floating point format for binary numbers is supported as well.

Linux kernel 4.6 ships with Kernel Connection Multiplexor, a new component designed for accelerating application layer protocols, 802.1AE MAC-level encryption (MACsec) support, online inode checker for the OCFS2 file system, support for the BATMAN V protocol, and support for the pNFS SCSI layout.

Many end users will notice performance improvements in the temperature control of their laptops, for example, because this version closes a quite serious bug that caused thermal throttling in some models of Lenovo laptops. Support for Dell laptops, including their Alienware gaming line of machines has also been improved.

Other changes to the kernel include:

  • Version 4.6 also improves the security of the EFI firmware, isolating its context from the rest of the kernel.
  • Other security updates, including kernel memory protection by default on ARMv7+, arm64 and mandatory on x86, and more oulined by Kees Cook, are part of an ongoing effort to create "airbags for the kernel" by preventing bugs from becoming security issues. 

For more information, read the official announcement of the release.

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