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Longterm Kernels

A few weeks ago, the new series 32 kernel would still have been called a "Stable kernel". Since December, however, this and all the other kernel series mentioned in this paragraph have been named "Longterm" kernels to indicate that they are versions with long-term support. Series 32 is one of five such series and is maintained by Kroah-Hartman. For several years, the developer also maintained series 2.6.27, but he recently passed this job on to Willy Tarreau, who intends to slow down the release cycle. Tarreau has, for years, maintained series 2.4, but plans to phase out this work in the not-too-distant future. Relatively new in the long-term support arena are Andi Kleen and Paul Gortmaker who have, since December, maintained Longterm kernels based on 2.6.34 and 2.6.35 because this maintenance is part of their regular job – background information about the developers' motivation and future plans can be found in their announcements (1, 2).

In addition to these practically official Stable and Longterm kernels, the front page at currently lists several other Stable kernels although they are no longer maintained; some of these kernels may, therefore, contain known security holes. Several kernel hackers also maintain various other kernel branches – Canonical's Stefan Bader, for instance, has recently released kernel version "". This is the thirteenth version of a Linux kernel with more recent DRM drivers based on series 33; Bader's kernel branch is a by-product of the Ubuntu 10.04 kernel, which is based on Linux 2.6.32 and also uses the DRM drivers included in 2.6.33.

In brief

X Server environment

  • AMD has released the beta version of a Linux graphics driver that is suitable for professional standard FireGL cards and supports OpenGL 4.1.
  • NVIDIA has recently released version 260.19.36 (x86-32, x86-64) of its Linux graphics drivers. The updated versions offer various minor improvements and fix a bug that can cause X Server 1.9x to crash. NVIDIA has also released beta version 270.18 (x86-32, x86-64) with various major changes – such as the support of X Server 1.10, which is still in development.
  • Openchrome developer Xavier Bachelot has announced that VIA has released documentation on the 2D and 3D features of the VX900 chip-set's Chrome9-HD graphics core.
  • In a blog posting, Intel developer Jesse Barnes provides various debugging tips for display control issues. In the blog entry entitled "Intel display controllers" which he posted a few days later, Barnes also provides a general overview of the way some of Intel's processors and chip-sets with graphics cores function.
  • Also working on graphics drivers at Intel, Chris Wilson recently proposed a patch for Mesa's GLX code that saves the result of a GLX operation for later use; in the "World of Padman" game, the patch increased the frame rate from 28 to 45 frames per second via indirect rendering (for instance via X forwarding on a network).

Kernel environment ("plumbing layer"), userland drivers, developer tools, ...

  • The recently released version 4.20 of the Memtest86+ memory test program included in many Linux distributions now also supports Intel's Sandy Bridge processors and AMD's Fusion CPUs (E Series).
  • The article "Run ZFS on Linux" on IBM Developerworks provides a general overview of the technology involved in Solaris' ZFS file system and demonstrates how to use the file system under Linux via ZFS Fuse.
  • Junio C Hamano released Git 1.7.4 and summarized the most important changes in its announcement.
  • The developers of the HPLIP (Hewlett-Packard's Linux Imaging and Printing Software) project have released version 3.11.1 of their identically named driver for HP multifunction devices. The release notes provide a detailed overview of the most important changes – for instance the added support of numerous recent Laserjet printers and an improved print head calibration feature; HPLIP now also supports additional fax and scan protocols used in multifunction devices.
  • In a blog posting, Dan Williams provides some background on the Linux WiMAX drivers and the current state of the WiMAX support in the NetworkManager he develops.
  • Stephen Hemminger has released the iproute2 collection of network tools, which contains the tool "ip" and is intended for Linux 2.6.37 and later. Among its new features is the support of rxhash-based flow matching.

Older Kernel Logs can be found in the archives or by using the search function at The H Open Source. New editions of Kernel Logs are also mentioned on and Twitter via "@kernellog2". The Kernel Log author also posts updates about various topics on and Twitter via "@kernellogauthor".


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