Linux 3.19 Features Set to Surface in 2015
Linux 3.19 will be the first new Linux kernel of 2015 and it's already shaping up to be chock full of interesting bits. The merge window for Linux 3.19 hasn't yet closed, but the first set of Git Pulls shows lots of activity.
Human Interface Devices (HID) get a boost in the Linux 3.19 release cycle. Among the interesting bits is support for Microsoft's Surface Pro. This isn't full support for running Linux on a Surface Pro device.
"Surface Pro 3 Type Cover that works with Ubuntu (and possibly Arch) from this thread," Linux kernel developer Alan Wu wrote in a Linux Kernel Mailing List message. "Both trackpad and keyboard work after compiling my own kernel."
ARM will be getting a boost with support for CoreSight, which provides support for on chip debuging and tracing operations.
Across the board there are some ACPI and power management updates that will benefit Linux users.
Linux kernel developer Rafael J. Wysocki wrote in his GIT pull for 3.19:
"This time we have some more new material than we used to have during the last couple of development cycles.
The most important part of it to me is the introduction of a unified interface for accessing device properties provided by platform firmware. It works with Device Trees and ACPI in a uniform way and drivers using it need not worry about where the properties come from as long as the platform firmware (either DT or ACPI) makes them available. It covers both devices and "bare" device node objects without struct device representation as that turns out to be necessary in some cases. This has been in the works for quite a few months (and development cycles) and has been approved by all of the relevant maintainers."
The Squashfs filesystem is also set to benefit from Linux 3.19 with support for LZ4 compression. The Btrfs filesystem also is being improved with better RAID 5/6 support. Btrfs maintainer Chris Mason wrote:
"From a feature point of view, most of the code here comes from Miao Xie and others at Fujitsu to implement scrubbing and replacing devices on raid56. This has been in development for a while, and it's a big improvement."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist