Linus Torvalds and his team release Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS with 3D support

Linux kernel 4.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) was officially released by Linus Torvalds and his team of developers on 10 January. Announcing the release, Torvalds wrote in a post that “nothing untoward happened this week, so Linux 4.4 is out in all the usual places”.

Prominent features of Linux kernel 4.4 LTS include 3D support in the virtual GPU driver, allowing for 3D hardware-accelerated graphics in virtualization guests, a leaner and faster loop device that supports Asynchronous I/O and Direct I/O, thus increasing the system’s performance and saving memory, and support for Open-Channel Solid State Drives (SSDs) through LightNVM.

Furthermore, Linux kernel 4.4 LTS adds journaled RAID5 MD support, fixing the RAID write hole, and perf and eBPF integration, allowing unprivileged users to run persistent eBPF programs. Also worth mentioning are Block polling support for improving the overall performance of high-end storage devices, a brand new mlock2() syscall for locking memory on page fault, and fully lockless handling of the TCP listener, allowing for more scalable and faster TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) servers.

The changes since rc8 aren’t big,” stated Torvalds. “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. Notable might be unbreaking the x86-32 ‘sysenter’ ABI, when somebody (*cough*android-x86*cough*) misused it by not using the vdso and instead using the instruction directly.”

Linux 4.4 will provide better graphics for Raspberry Pi, thanks to a new Pi KMS driver that will be updated with acceleration code in future releases. There’s also better 64-bit ARM support and fixes for memory leaks on Intel’s Skylake CPUs.

If you are a Linux lover, you can download the sources right now from the kernel.org website

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