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15 March 2011, 09:19

Linux kernel 2.6.38 released

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KL Logo After only 69 days of development, Linus Torvalds has released version 2.6.38 of the Linux kernel. Among this kernel's advancements is a process scheduler modification that has become known as the "wonder patch"; this allows desktop environments to respond considerably faster under certain conditions.

Linus Torvalds has repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm about this approach – for instance in the release email for the first RC. In that email, Torvalds also highlighted another restructuring measure: The Virtual File System (VFS), whose task is to mediate between applications and the file system code, now makes greater use of the RCU (Read Copy Update) mechanism, which speeds up certain file system operations; Torvalds said that a file system search with "find" in the home directory of his desktop computer was about 30 per cent faster as a result.

These are only two of many changes that have an impact on Linux users. For instance, the DRM/KMS graphics drivers now support various newer graphics chips by AMD and NVIDIA; the developers also improved the Wi-Fi drivers for Atheros, Broadcom, Intel, Ralink and Realtek chips and extended them to support further hardware components. Linux 2.6.38 will reach users in the Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15 Linux distributions, expected to be released this spring.

Find details on these and many other new features of Linux 2.6.38 in an article at The H Open. That article also provides an outlook on some of the changes that are likely to be introduced with Linux kernel version 2.6.39, which could already be released at the end of May:


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