Linux 3.19

A new version of linux kernel is out to be compiled and used! Let’s see what news it brings.
In the hardware support we see that AMD HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) is closer to reality. HSA is a type of computer processor architecture that integrates central processing units and graphics processors on the same bus, with shared memory and tasks. With the landing of the AMDKFD driver (that will provide basic support for HSA with basic OpenCL kernels) it can be used in conjunction with AMD’s Radeon Gallium3D stack and their new HSA library.
Initial hardware support for Intel’s next-generation Skylake graphics has been added. Intel’s Memory Protection Extension (MPX) is a set of CPU instructions which brings increased robustness to software by checking pointer references. Intel MPX introduces new registers and new CPU instructions that operate on these registers. Modified compiler, runtime libraries and kernels can make use of these instructions to allow MPX hardware to prevent buffer overflow exploitation. This Linux release adds support in the Linux kernel. CPUs with MPX support are not yet in the market and will be introduced with the Intel Skylake and Goldmont microarchitectures.
ARM Coresight is an umbrella of technologies allowing for the debugging of ARM based SoC. ARM has developed a HW assisted tracing solution by means of different components, each being added to a design at systhesis time to cater to specific tracing needs. The Linux Coresight framework provides a kernel interface for the Coresight debug and trace drivers to register themselves with. It’s intended to build a topological view of the Coresight components based on a DT specification and configure the right series of components when a trace source gets enabled.
In the filesystem area Btrfs added support for fast and live device replacement, much faster and more efficient than adding the new device and removing the old one in separated commands. The new release include bettering off the RAID 5 and RAID 6 level support so that it’s closer to parity with the other supported RAID levels.
LZ4 compression has been added in SquashFS. It originally compressed its data with Gzip but for a few years now has supported LZMA and LZO. LZ4 is a lightweight compression algorithm and its implementation is intended for embedded systems with reduced CPU usage and lower memory overhead in comparison to Zlib.
This release also adds support for hole punching and preallocation in NFSv4.2 setups.
In the networking area this release includes infrastructure to support hardware switch chips. This include devices supporting L2/L3 but also various flow offloading chips, including switches embedded into SR-IOV NICs. Also included is a “rocker” driver for emulated switch chip implemented in qemu.
There are as always tons of minor changes and you can view all them starting from the changelog.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 8:19 PM and is filed under linux.

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