The New Linux Kernel 3.1

It just took nine weeks of development and the latest Linux version, Linux kernel 3.10 is out. Although the latest Linux kernel has been released after a brief delay, but it surely promises significant improvements over the previous versions. Along with a lot of improved features, the latest Linux offers a lot for the users of solid-state storage devices and AMD graphics hardware.
Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux, announced the release of Linux kernel 3.10 late last night and mentioned the reasons of delay as well. Torvalds wrote in a post, “So I delayed this by a day, considering whether to do another -rc, but decided that there wasn’t enough upside. Sure, it hasn’t been as quiet as I’d like, and we had this long discussion about an inode list locking scalability issue over the last week or two, but in the end that issue turned out to not be new, and while we may end up back-porting the eventual resolution to 3.10, it wasn’t a reason to delay the release. Similarly, while I might wish for fewer pull requests during the late rc’s (and particularly the ones that came in Friday evening – inconvenient for a weekend release), at some point delaying things doesn’t really help things, and just makes the pent up demand for the next merge window worse. In other words, I could really have gone either way, but decided that there wasn’t enough reason to break the normal pattern of “rc7 is the last rc before the release”. So here goes.”

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Apart from the usual bug fixes in the Linux kernel version, the latest version brings along support for the ‘bcache’ block-layer cache. This allows a fast solid-state drive to be used as a cache for a larger, slower mechanical drive. ‘bcache’ has been designed as an alternative to ‘dm-cache’ present in Linux 3.9 and it works for individual blocks rather than whole files. This boosts performance of over file-level solutions, and allows the users to set up their own hybrid storage devices rather quickly.
Linux kernel 3.10 also offers interfaces that can help in controlling the Unified Video Decoder (UVD) portion of AMD graphics processing units (APUs.) UVD was previously available only for using AMD’s closed-source proprietary driver – but the new kernel will also have an open-source driver to shunt video through UVD. Linux Kernel 3.10 also brings support for AMD’s latest Richland APUs.
The latest version of Linux kernel also brings changes in Samsung UEFI fix. According to Bit-Tech report, this fix will “prevent the write-blocking mechanism designed to protect the devices from bricking from triggering on devices that aren’t affected by the flaw, support for running on ARM’s big. LITTLE chip architecture, additional drivers for previously poorly supported hardware including Apple’s IrDA receiver and Roccat’s latest Kone Pure and IskuFX devices, and networking tweaks to improve performance.”

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