Kernel Surprise

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
3 April 2018
New Tech

Linux founder Linus Torvalds doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to make jokes. So when he released the latest Linux kernel on April 1st, it was hard to tell whether it was in jest. Especially after he said that Linux 4.16 needed another week to mature.

So, the latest release has come a bit sooner than expected. There’s apparently 490,486 lines of new code, with 304,188 files deleted – a total of 186,000 extra lines of code.

Security’s got tighter, with Spectre and Meltdown fixes and code cleanups. There’s also network improvements, tweaks to files systems, and support for Microsoft Hyper-V guests, which is being offered as a work around for the performance drops by patching Spectre and Meltdown. Developers will also enjoy new drivers that make Linux better in VirtualBox desktop hypervisor.

Support for eight CPU architectures has been scrapped. Linux no longer works on blackfin, cris, frv, m32r, metag, mn10300, score and tile as people just weren’t using them to run Linux anymore.

Of course, the end of one Linux cycle is the beginning of another, so fasten your seat belts for 4.17.

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