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The outlook for 2.6.40

Directly following the release of 2.6.39, the first, usually two-week long, merge window of the Linux kernel development cycle commences, during which the kernel developers incorporate the many changes for the next version of the kernel into the main development branch. Numerous changes have already been prepared for this first phase of the next development cycle.

The Wi-Fi area is scheduled to receive particular attention. The developers plan to add the mwifiex driver for a 802.11n chip by Marvell. The rtl8192se driver for Realtek's RTL8191SE and RTL8192SE Wi-Fi chips has been prepared for integration; a driver for the RTL8192DE is being prepared, but will probably only make it into 2.6.41. The developers plan to remove the untidy rt2860sta and rt2870sta drivers for Wi-Fi chips by Ralink from the staging area – the components these drivers support are now said to be supported equally well by some kernel drivers that originated from the Rt2x00 project (1, 2). In addition, a just-in-time compiler described on LWN.net is to be added to the netfilter code to accelerate the packet filter. 2.6.40 may already include the first driver components to support the graphics cores used in the Ivy Bridge processor family Intel will probably introduce early next year.

The coming days will reveal which of these changes will actually be incorporated into the main development branch by Torvalds. As usual, the Kernel Log will summarise these and other developments in the Linux kernel field – including new point releases of the stable kernel series (2.6.39.y), which should, over the next few weeks, fix the odd bug or two overlooked by hackers and testers during 2.6.39 development.

In addition, the Kernel Log in The H Open will, as usual, be reporting on the major changes integrated into the next kernel version in a "Coming in 2.6.40" mini series. A release of 2.6.40 in mid or end of July seems likely at this point in time. A detailed summary of the major changes in 2.6.40 will then be published on The H Open in a Kernel Log like this one.

Further background information about the developments in the Linux kernel area 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 which eventually tend to find their way into the Kernel Log on Identi.ca and Twitter via "@kernellogauthor".

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