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Graphics driver problems

In another discussion on the LKML, Linus Torvalds also pointed out that the code to be integrated during the merge window should be developed and tested before the merge window begins. The only new code that he wants to see in the main development phase are actual regressions to fix mistakes, he said. The comment was triggered by the Git-Pull request for the DRM subsystem containing a recently released patch, one aspect of which had been criticised by another developer.

Dave Airlie replied that he didn't think the patch in question deserved the response. However, the DRM/KMS subsystem maintainer did admit that he sometimes submits young code for integration because it fixes bugs in the driver code that was merged in the previous version; Airlie added that, would he hold back such patches, the code would only reach users six months later. The maintainer further explained his reasons and mentioned that he is contemplating going back to developing the drivers independently of the kernel – "however, that comes with its own set of completely insane problems", he added. Jerome Glisse, who works on the Radeon drivers, also contributed to the discussion, for instance saying that in his opinion, a stable kernel API for DRM drivers isn't a good solution. The discussion eventually fizzled out, but it demonstrates some of the problems the developers of the kernel, Mesa 3D and graphics drivers have to confront.

Kernel version status

Greg Kroah-Hartman has released Stable kernel versions and as well as Longterm kernel version; shortly afterwards, he also released kernel version, which is significant because it is the basis for the real-time extensions from the RT tree. The first three versions contain the usual, emphatic invitation to update to the latest version. With, Kroah-Hartman will discontinue the maintenance of series .37; in the pertaining release email, the maintainer consequently also recommends that users switch to the latest series .38 kernel.

In brief


  • On his blog, Greg Kroah-Hartman points out that the kernel has, for several versions, offered a locking mechanism which is comparable to the wakelocks (aka suspend blockers) that are used by some Android kernels and had sparked a protracted controversy last year. The maintainer said that there are now no major barriers for merging Android-specific kernel drivers. "Send them in, we will take them", Kroah-Hartman concluded.
  • Several kernel hackers recently rejected the ACPI subsystem maintainer's suggestion to discard the kernel's APM (Advanced Power Management) support with 2.6.40; however, the subsequently presented idea to phase out the kernel's APM Idle support even found approval with Linus Torvalds.
  • Jon Masters has reactivated the Linux Kernel Podcast, which has been only rarely released in the past few months. In the transcript of last week's podcast, the developer mentions, among other things, the LKML discussion about SMBIOS and DMI and the proposal to phase out the kernel's APM support.

Graphics hardware support

  • Jeremy Huddleston has issued a first release candidate of X Server 1.10.1 which reportedly offers a number of fixes that are primarily aimed at server stability.

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

  • The developers of the hplip (Hewlett-Packard's Linux Imaging and Printing software) project have released version 3.11.3a of their identically named driver for printers and multi-function devices by HP to fix a flaw in version 3.11.3.
  • Junio C Hamano has released Git
  • Neil Brown has released mdadm 3.1.5, which is considered stable and fixes various bugs the developer said he discovered when working on versions 3.2.0 and 3.2.1; the latter is due to be released shortly.
  • The bridge-utils 1.5 are the first to include a 'hairpin' mode for port forwarding. In his release email Stephen Hemminger mentions that this will probably be the last version of this collection of bridge configuration tools; the developer said that he is actively working to integrate Netlink-based bridge utilities into iproute2.
  • In his release email for lm-sensors 3.3.0, Jean Delvare lists the new version's major advancements – these include the support of humidity and intrusion detection sensors; the new version reportedly also supports many subfeatures implemented by new hardware monitoring drivers.

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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