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In brief

  • The macvlan driver, relevant for virtualisation, now offers a "passthru" mode in which it passes through many capabilities of the network chip that is in use; this allows VLANs to be configured and MAC addresses to be modified in guest systems.
  • In the newly created drivers/nfc/ directory, the kernel hackers have integrated a driver the Nokia developers submitted for the PN544 by NXP Semiconductors – a NFC (Near Field Communication) component used in payment systems that has recently attracted renewed attention.
  • The policy-based packet dequeueing infrastructure allows the priority of outgoing packets to be influenced in the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP).
  • The nl80211 Wi-Fi configuration interface can now be used to modify antenna settings if the driver is capable of this; the MAC80211 Wi-Fi stack now offers all the components required for hardware TX fragmentation offload.
  • Various other details about the most important network subsystem changes can be found in the major git-pull requests submitted by network subsystem maintainer David Miller (1, 2, 3, 4).

Minor gems

Many further minor, but by no means insignificant, changes can be found in the list below, which contains the commit headers referring to the respective change. Like many of the references in the text above, the links point to the relevant commit in the web front end of the Git branch for the "official" kernel sources maintained by Linus Torvalds at kernel.org. The commit comments available at these links and the patches themselves provide extensive further information on the respective changes.

Every link is preceded by various letters and numbers in square brackets. The letter "C" identifies patches that modify Kconfig files, which contain the help texts and configuration options displayed by "make menuconfig", "make xconfig" and similar tools during kernel configuration. "D" is used for patches that modify the documentation available under Documentation/ in the kernel branch. "N" identifies changes which create a new file. The numbers provide a rough idea of the patch size. For example, "1" is used for changes between 10 and 20 KBytes including comment, "2" for patches between 20 and 30 KBytes; changes without a number are less than 10 KBytes, while patches marked "9" are 90 KBytes or more.

LAN

WLAN

Various

For other articles on 2.6.38 and links to the rest of the "Coming in 2.6.38" series, see The H's Kernel Log - 2.6.38 Tracking page. New editions of Kernel Logs are also mentioned on Identi.ca and Twitter via "@kernellog2". The Kernel Log author also posts updates about various topics on Identi.ca and Twitter via "@kernellogauthor".

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