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Summing up 3.9

While the use of SSDs as hard-disk cache is old hat in the Windows world, Linux has finally includes this capability as well – although it remains to be seen whether users will prefer the new dm-cache over bcache, which is scheduled for inclusion in 3.10. The network stack's new socket-splitting feature is of interest to server maintainers and software developers for preventing one processor core from becoming a bottleneck on modern multi-core systems. With Intel's new Wi-Fi drivers and the AMD graphics driver improvements, the kernel is now better equipped for tomorrow's PCs and notebooks. Btrfs's RAID 5 and 6 support means that Btrfs is getting another bit closer to offering its intended range of features – which is required for it to lose its experimental status, although nothing currently indicates that Btrfs will do so in the near future.

Kernel Log penguin Kernel trends: Outlook on 3.10

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.

Among the patches that are ready for inclusion are some that provide support for the Unified Video Decoder (UVD) that has been available in Radeon graphics chips since the HD 4000 generation; the necessary userspace support, accessible via the NVIDIA-initiated VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix), is planned to become available with the next major revision of Mesa 3D.

In Linux 3.10 the developers also plan to integrate the QXL graphics driver for the paravirtualised GPU that is emulated by Qemu's SPICE code; in the medium term, the developers also plan to provide 3D support via this kernel driver. Another component that is ready for inclusion is a fabric module for Infiniband hardware for setting up a LIO-iSCSI target via iSCSI Extensions for RDMA (iSER). Kernel version 3.10 is also scheduled to include a driver for Realtek's RTL8188EE 802.11n PCIe Wi-Fi chip.

Assuming Torvalds and the other kernel developers work at their usual pace, Linux 3.10 is likely to be released in the second half of June. When that happens, The H will, once again, be publishing an article providing an overview of all the major changes in the new version.

Facts and figures for the latest versions of the Linux kernel

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

39733 15868036
71 10247 8296 files changed,
255597 deletions(-)

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

41520 16416874
70 12394 11701 files changed,
577188 insertions(+),
352003 deletions(-)
3.9 42423 16686879
69 11910 11120 files changed,
608436 insertions(+),
338439 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 3.9 download

The new Linux kernel can be downloaded from 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 \ \
[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 <>"
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 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 and Twitter via "@kernellogauthor".

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