kernel news – 22.07.2013

Posted: July 22, 2013 in kernel

– Linux kernel 3.11-rc2 is here:

So it’s been another week, and -rc2 is out there.

The patch looks a bit odd, because by bulk 95% of the patch is just
the removal of the CSR staging driver that wasn’t getting any
traction, so the diffstat (and the dirstat in particular) is not very
interesting or readable, since that driver removal basically
overshadows everything else. But I do admit to love seeing code
removal patches.

And of the rest of the patch, a noticeable part is all those
one-liners all over that just remove the __cpuinit markers that people
agreed were just more pain than gain to maintain. We had already made
the markers be no-ops earlier, so they didn’t matter for code
generation, and here in rc2 they get actually removed.

End result: we have two separate events that generate a lot of noise
in the patch, but aren’t really interesting per se. They do make the
patch harder to read, though.

Ignoring those noisy parts of the patch, there’s a couple of things
worth noting about rc2. I think most of the patches here are nice
fixes, but I wanted to give two heads-ups:

(a) the O_TMPFILE flag that is new to 3.11 has been going through a
few ABI/API cleanups (and a few fixes to the implementation too), but
I think we’re done now. So if you’re interested in the concept of
unnamed temporary files, go ahead and test it out. The lack of name
not only gets rid of races/complications with filename generation, it
can make the whole thing more efficient since you don’t have the
directory operations that can cause serializing IO etc.

(b) we had a late change to how ACPI backlight handling is done on
certain machines, and while this kind of thing really shouldn’t be
done outside the merge window, I ended up pulling it anyway. But I’d
*really* like to have people test this thing particularly on laptops
with intel-based graphics. It should only matter (and hopefully
improve things) for the newer ones with BIOSes designed for Windows 8,
but hey, the more testing, the better. Backlight handling has been
painful before, so I’m mentioning this explicitly.

Anyway, apart from those two issues, I think the rest is pretty normal
for rc2. It started out a bit slow, but I think it ended up fairly
normal. Apart from the already mentioned issues, we’ve got drm stuff
(radeon in particular), some driver core fixes, s390/mips/arm/x86
updates, sound drivers, ext4/btrfs fixes, yadda yadda.

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