Linux Update Improves Processor Support

MaddiRuhl - January 13, 2016 - 11:57 AM

Linux Update Improves Processor Support

The new Linux kernel is here, Linux 4.4, and packs some impressive punches when it comes to processor support.

Linux 4.4 has dropped, and despite the usual humility of founder Linus Torvalds, its new features have won the kernel lots of accolades. "The changes since rc8 aren't big," wrote Torvalds in his release notes, "there's about one third arch updates, one third drivers, and one third 'misc' (mainly some core kernel and networking), but it's all small." What the update does include, however, is some new support for processors like Intel's new Skylake family, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, and a handful of improved graphics processor support. The update also includes a beta driver to improve graphics support for Raspberry Pi.

This release has users looking now to the future, and particularly towards the possibilities awaiting in Linux 4.5, but perhaps not much farther than that. As a point of philosophy, Torvalds explained at LinuxCon 2015, "I'm a very plodding, pedestrian kind of person. I look six months ahead... I don't think planning 10 years ahead is necessarily very sane." But the system has come quite a long way since its first kernel release over 20 years ago. "This release checks in at more than 20.8 million lines of code," wrote Linux' Amber Ankerholz in an official blog post, "which is up considerably from Version 4.1, released in June 2015 with slightly more than 19.5 million lines of code... For historical comparison, version 0.01 of the Linux kernel — released in 1991 — had just 10,239 lines of code."

Photo: © iStock.
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