Linux Kernel 4.7 Will Introduce Support For Radeon RX480 GPUs, New Linux Security Module
The Linux 4.7 kernel was officially released yesterday afternoon by Linus Torvalds who announced that “after a slight delay due to my travels, I’m back, and 4.7 is out.”
Linux 4.7 ships with open-source AMD Polaris (RX 480) support, new ARM platform/board support, Intel Kabylake graphics improvements, Xbox One Elite Controller support, and a lot of other new features.
For the last two months, the Linux 4.7 kernel has been in development. Since May 29, 2016, a total of seven Release Candidate (RC) testing builds were released, which introduced numerous new features and enhancements.
Linus commented in the release announcement, “Despite it being two weeks since rc7, the final patch wasn’t all that big, and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There’s a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving. Appended is the shortlog since rc7 for people who care: it’s fairly spread out, with networking and some intel Kabylake GPU fixes being the most noticeable ones. But there’s random small noise spread all over.
“And obviously, this means that the merge window for 4.8 is open. Judging by the linux-next contents, that’s going to be a bigger release than the current one (4.7 really was fairly calm, I blame at least partly summer in the northern hemisphere).”
The most important new features of Linux kernel 4.7 are support for the recently announced Radeon RX 480 GPUs (Graphic Processing Units) from AMD, which certainly has been employed directly into the AMDGPU video driver, a brand-new security module, called LoadPin, that ensures that the modules loaded by the kernel all originate from the same file system, and support for producing virtual USB Device Controllers in USB/IP.
Further, Linux kernel 4.7 is the first one to make sure that production-ready status of the sync_file fencing debice used in the Android mobile operating system, allow Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) programs to attach to tracepoints, as well as to introduce the long-anticipated “schedutil” frequency governor to the cpufreq dynamic frequency scaling subsystem, which promises to be quicker and more precise than the current ones.
Other new features that are included in the Linux 4.7 kernel are support for upgrading firmware using the EFI ‘Capsule’ mechanism, support for call chains of events in the perf trace tool, the ability to create histograms of events for the ftrace interface, and support for parallel directory lookups. The Linux kernel 4.7 source is now available for download from kernel.org.