Kernel 4.10 has the honor of being christened the “Anniversary Edition” by Linus Torvalds. Linux kernel 4.10’s release is just around the corner. This release comes loaded with many new features and better hardware support for Nouveau driver, Intel GTV, AMD Zen, Intel Turbo Boost Max, new ARM devices, etc. The other new features of Linux kernel 4.10 include writeback throttling, fast fail support, and faster WLAN support.
Other things to look forward to in 4.10
HID for Microsoft Surface 3 and 4. Which means external HID-compliant USB devices such as mice and keyboards will now work.
Lots of drivers for TV tuners, webcams and video cameras have found their way into this kernel. Boxes like the Cinergy S2 and sticks like the EVOLVEO XtraTV are now supported.
What else? Well, more ARM devices of course! The Nexus 5 and 6 are now both supported, as well as two Android TV boxes, the A1 and A95X by Nexbox. A popular Raspberry Pi competitor, the PINE64, is also now supported (no more hacked Android 3.x kernels for you), as is the Renesas “R-Car Starter Kit Pro,” a low-cost automotive board.
The perf c2c tool adds cacheline contentions analysis, useful for tracking down performance problems when several cores try to access and modify the same bit of memory at the same time. Perf also gets detailed history of scheduling events.
Linux Kernel 4.10 New Features
1) Writeback throttling
Writeback throttling has been integrated in the block layer. This makes the system more fluid and doesn’t compromise with the background writeback activity.
2) Improvements in Nvidia DRM driver
A major change coming with Linux kernel 4.10 is the improvements for Nvidia GPUs. The Nouveau driver is now restructured to allow smoother development in the future. The basic support for Multi-Stream Transport has also been added. There is also performance boost support, option to adjust Nvidia logo brightness, etc.
3) Fail fast support
In the MD RAID subsystem, Fail fast support has been added. What is its use? This change will cancel the read operating from the drive that’s showing problems and read from the other device.
4) AMDGPU DRM driver fixes and AMD Zen addition
Multiple fixes (power management, exposed RPM fan info., etc.) have been made to AMDGPU DRM. Now, it supports Polaris 12 GPUs. Also, more AMD Zen code is being mainlined.
5) Support for Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Intel Cache Allocation Technology (CAT)
A big feature of Linux kernel 4.10 is the support for Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology. This lets the CPU cores to achieve higher frequencies. Another addition is the support for Intel Cache Allocation Technology that allows one to partition the cache of newer Intel CPUs.
6) Initial Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology support
In Linux kernel 4.10, the initial Intel GVT mainline support is being added. It’ll allow the VMs to make use of graphics hardware.
7) Support for new ARM platforms
A number of new ARM platforms are now supported. They are Huawei Nexus 6P, LG Nexus 5X, Pine64, Snapdragon 808 and 810, Samsung Exynos 5433, NXP LS1046A, etc.
8) Better support for Raspberry Pi 3, Microsoft Surface 3, x86 laptops
9) Other major improvements
Better HDMI support on Skylake CPUs
Early support for Tegra P1/Parker
EXT4 DAX iomap and XFS iomap support
ATA command priority support
Encryption support in UBIFS
For a full list of changes, some in depth explanations, as well as links to the commits, take a look at this entry on kernel newbies website.