Linux 4.10 Released as First New Kernel of 2017
After a one week delay, Linus Torvalds released the first new Linux kernel of 2017 on Feb. 19, with the debut of Linux 4.10. The Linux 4.9 kernel (aka 'Roaring Lionus'' was released back on Dec. 11. There was some talk in 2016 that seemed to indicate that Linux 4.10 would in fact be re-numbered as Linux 5.0 but that didn't end up happening.
"On the whole, 4.10 didn't end up as small as it initially looked," Torvalds wrote in his release announcement. "After the huge release that was 4.9, I expected things to be pretty quiet, but it ended up very much a fairly average release by modern kernel standards."
"So we have about 13,000 commits (not counting merges- that would be another 1200+ commits if you count those)," Torvalds added.
Looking at the new features in LInux 4.10, among the most noteworthy is Virtual GPU support (what Intel call (GVT-g for KVM).
"As a long-standing member of the open source community, Intel works upstream to ensure that full, open source implementations of Intel GVT exist for open source virtualization hypervisors, KVM and Xen, known respectively as KVMGT and XenGT," Intel's documentation states.
"Efficiency in today’s world often implies the use of cloud computing, and today’s cloud faces a growing share of media-rich workloads," Intel states. "While this impending reality has often presented a steep challenge, graphics virtualization technologies have emerged in response, to efficiently manage these workloads."
There is also a new tools called 'perf c3c' that aims to help improve memory cache allocation across distributed systems. There is now also support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology.
From a security perspective, Linux 4.10 introduces a new virtualization cryptography driver for the Linux kernel.
"The virtio crypto device is a virtual cryptography device as well as a kind of virtual hardware accelerator for virtual machines," the kernel commit message for the new features explains. "The encryption and decryption requests are placed in the data queue and are ultimately handled by the backend crypto accelerators."
Linux 4.10 also adds preliminary support for the new IEE 802.11ai Fast Initial Linux Setup (FILS) WiFi networking approach that offers the promise of extremely fast connections for wireless networks.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.