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ALSA components updated

At the end of January, the developers of the ALSA project released version 1.0.24 of the various ALSA components. Because they spent more than nine months on development, the list of changes is quite long.

For instance, the ALSA utilities now include a program called alsaloop, which reportedly offers more options and is more reliable than the direct use of a loopback audio device with the driver snd-aloop. Snd-loop has been a part of the Linux kernel since version 2.6.37 and is now also part of the "alsa-driver" package to provide older Linux kernels with current versions of kernel audio drivers. A number of the changes in the driver package have been incorporated in more recent kernels for some time, including expanded support for Xonar cards, Asoc drivers, and improved HDA and USB drivers.

In brief

Kernel

  • Linus Torvalds has released the fourth beta version of Linux 2.6.38.
  • Andi Kleen recently published Longterm kernel 2.6.35.11.
  • Nitin Gupta and Dan Magenheimer are merging their zcache and kztmem frameworks that compress the page cache, with kztmem serving as the basis for the new code, though the name will remain zcache.
  • Ksplice Uptrack now provides the kernel of the recently released Debian 6 "Squeeze" with security corrections applicable at runtime. The number of supported distributions has therefore risen to 17, although the service is only free for a few Fedora and Ubuntu versions.
  • The recently considerably revised Wiki table of the WLAN chips supported by the B43 driver should make it easier for users to find out which Broadcom WLAN building blocks a particular driver in the kernel supports.
  • In an interview published at the web site "OMG! Ubuntu!" Linus Torvalds talks about how the kernel is getting bigger and fatter all the time, although there is generally a good reason why the code is inflating the kernel.

X-Server and Co.

  • Jeremy Huddleston has released version 1.9.4 of X.org’s X-Server.

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

  • Harald Hoyer has published version 008 of dracut, a cross-distribution tool to create an Initial Ramdisk (Initrd), which is used in Fedora and elsewhere. The new version also creates images compressed with Bzip2 and Xz and includes support for the program called biosdevname, which is designed to provide unambiguous, predictable labels for network interfaces.
  • Johannes Berg released version 0.9.22 of the "iw" WLAN configuration tool.
  • Junio C Hamano has published Git 1.7.4 and summarized the main changes in the release email.
  • Daniel Poelzleithner has published version 0.4 of ulatencyd; launched at the beginning of the year, the background service tries to dynamically adjust process scheduling to increase the reaction speed of the desktop environment and applications.

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 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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