Linux 3.18 Diseased Newt Released
Linus Torvalds formally released the Linux 3.18 kernel on December 7, even though a regression issue that first showed up in Linux 3.17 has yet to be resolved.
"I'd love to say that we've figured out the problem that plagues 3.17 for a couple of people, but we haven't," Torvalds wrote in his release announcement. " At the same time, there's absolutely no point in having everybody else twiddling their thumbs when a couple of people are actively trying to bisect an older issue, so holding up the release just didn't make sense."
Looking at Linux 3.18 in terms of new features, one of the most noticeable for many users will be the vastly improved suspend and resume speed.
"This tree includes a single commit that speeds up x86, suspend/resume by replacing a naive 100msec sleep based polling loop with proper completion notification," Linux developer Ingo Molnar wrote in his Linux 3.18 git pull message. " This gives some real suspend/resume benefit on servers with larger core counts."
The overlayfs filesystem also lands in Linux 3.18.
"An overlay-filesystem tries to present a filesystem which is the result over overlaying one filesystem on top of the other," Linux kernel developer Neil Brown wrote in the overlayfs proposal.
Existing filesystems including the Btrfs filesystem gets enhanced with various code cleanups and as well as improved read recovery/repair for RAID.
The fsf2 filesystem as well as XFS get multiple sets of improvements as well. According to the git pull message for XFS the improvements in Linux 3.18 includes:
o various cleanups
o log recovery debug hooks
o seek hole/data implementation merge
o extent shift rework to fix collapse range bugs
o various sparse warning fixes
o log recovery transaction processing rework to fix use after free bugs
o metadata buffer IO infrastructuer rework to ensure all buffers under IO have
valid reference counts
o various fixes for ondisk flags, writeback and zero range corner cases
USB also gets a a boost in Linux 3.18 with what kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman referred to as, "lots of little changes in here, all over the place."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist