April 26, 2019

Linux 3.4 Debuts as Open Source Adoption Grows

  • May 22, 2012
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Linus Torvalds works weekends. We all knew that right? Just to reinforce that point, Torvalds released the third major kernel release of 2012 on Sunday.

The Linux 3.4 release was a relatively rapid one, coming after two months and seven release candidates.

"I think the 3.4 release cycle as a whole has been fairly calm," Torvalds wrote in his release announcement. "Sure, I always wish for the -rc's to calm down more quickly than they ever seem to do, but I think on the whole we didn't have any big disruptive events, which is just how I like it."

The new kernel includes a long list of new and improved features. Btrfs gets a lot of attention with improved performance by way of extents optimization. Virtualization gets a major boost as well. The maximum number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) that can be supported in Linux with KVM has increased all the way to 160 up from 64.

From a networking perspective, Linux 3.4 get improved output buffering for the output queue.

"Output buffering enables speculative execution by allowing generated network traffic to be rolled back," Shriram Rajagopalan wrote in his commit message. "It is used to provide network protection for Xen Guests in the Remus high availability project, available as part of Xen. This module is generic enough to be used by any other system that wishes to add speculative execution and output buffering to its applications."

Linux systems should also benefit from a memory management improvement contributed by Red Hat developer Rik van Riel, that could help Firefox users on Linux (among other applications).

"On my home system, after killing a leaky firefox it took over an hour to page just under 2GB of memory back in, slowing the virtual machines down to a crawl," Riel wrote in his commit message. "This patch makes swapin readahead simply skip over holes, instead of stopping at them. This allows the system to swap things back in at rates of several MB/second, instead of a few hundred kB/second."

Open Source is Growing

This week the sixth annual Future of Open Source Survey was released this week, once again showing growing demand for open source software. This year the survey found that over the next five years more than 50 percent of all acquired software will be open source software. In terms of how enterprise choose which open source project to us and support 43 percent noted that project maturity is a driving factor.

On the flip side of software acquisition is the investment in open source software as a whole. According to the survey data, in 2011 there was $675 million in open source software investments.

Data indicates that 2011 was a record year for OSS investment, which increased by 49 percent to $675M, and new software companies are increasingly based on OSS and adaptive business models.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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