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Summing up 3.10

The most significant changes in Linux 3.10 include Bcache as a second SSD caching framework and support for the newer Radeon graphics cores' video decoder, although it remains to be seen how well Bcache, which Google has already been using in-house for some time, handles situations outside of a data processing centre's clearly defined parameters. There's also a catch for the new video decoder support, since it's not easy to set up the userland driver that goes with it – and it will still be a few months before the major distributions targeting average users come with everything needed.

The new checksums for XFS metadata are also important, since constantly increasing amounts of data make it more likely that bit errors lead to serious problems. Toning down Samsung's overeager UEFI protection mechanism, which has recently been causing installation problems for many users, was certainly overdue.

Kernel trends: Outlook for 3.11

Directly following the release of Linux 3.10, 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 next additions will most likely include the patches that allow the Radeon driver to make much better use of the runtime power management features offered by Radeon graphics cores from the last few years; some of the changes also improve support for the graphics chips in AMD's Sea Islands series.

Greg vs Regressions
Zoom The quality of the code in the staging area for the Lustre filesystem leaves something to be desired.

The ath10k driver, which deals with the WLAN components in Qualcomm Atheros' QCA988x chip series, will be added to the network subsystem, and a driver for the AR8161, AR8162, AR8171 and AR8172 Ethernet chips from the same company will also be added to the kernel. The ARM64 code will be updated to be able to virtualise with the Xen hypervisor and work to merge KVM support is also taking place.

Zswap, which can compress parts of a computer's RAM, is set to leave the staging area. Cluster file system Lustre, meanwhile, is supposed to be added to that source code branch, although staging area maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman had his work cut out for him dealing with some quality issues in the code.

Facts and Figures for recent Linux kernels

Linux
Version
Files1 Source lines2 Days Commits3 Changes4
3.2 37617 14998651
(14017008)
73 11881 12608 files changed,
1646421 insertions(+),
1418238 deletions(-)
3.3 38082 15166074
(14173688)
74 10550 10698 files changed,
599745 insertions(+),
432324 deletions(-)
3.4 38566 15383860
(14370856)
63 10899 11086 files changed,
576156 insertions(+),
385369 deletions(-)
3.5 39096 15596378
(145556354)
62 10957 9631 files changed,
623277 insertions(+),
410757 deletions(-)
3.6

39733 15868036
(14811965)
71 10247 8296 files changed,
527247insertions(+),
255597 deletions(-)
3.7

40905 16191690
(15108939)
71 11990 15886 files changed,
1567749 insertions(+),
1244085 deletions(-)
3.8

41520 16416874
(15310436)
70 12394 11701 files changed,
577188 insertions(+),
352003 deletions(-)
3.9 42423 16686879
(15563152)
69 11910 11120 files changed,
608436 insertions(+),
338439 deletions(-)
3.10 43016 16955489
(15803499)
63 13637 10471 files changed,
660572 insertions(+),
391966 deletions(-)

¹ find . -type f -not -regex '\./\.git/.*' | wc -l
² find . -type f -not -regex '\./\.git.*' | xargs cat | wc -l (find . -name *.[hcS] -not -regex '\./\.git.*' | xargs cat | wc -l)
³ git-log --no-merges --pretty=oneline v3.(x-1)..v3.(x) | wc -l
⁴ git diff --shortstat v3.(x-1)..v3.(x)

Linux 3.10 download

The new Linux kernel can be downloaded from Kernel.org and soon should become available from the worldwide network of servers that mirror the web site.

The source code is offered as tar archive compressed with Gzip, Bzip2, or XZ. The authenticity of the uncompressed tarball can be verified with a signature file that is shipped alongside it – for example, the process for Linux 3.1 would be performed with commands such as these:

[thl@thl tmp]$ wget --quiet \
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/linux-3.1.tar.sign \
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/linux-3.1.tar.xz
[thl@thl tmp]$ xz -d linux-3.1.tar.xz
[thl@thl tmp]$ gpg --verify linux-3.1.tar.sign
gpg: Signature made Mon Oct 24 09:17:58 2011 CEST using RSA key ID 00411886
gpg: Good signature from "Linus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>"
gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg: There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.
Primary key fingerprint: ABAF 11C6 5A29 70B1 30AB E3C4 79BE 3E43 0041 1886

Further background information about the developments in the Linux kernel area can be found in the archives or by using 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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