LINUS TORVALDS has released the final version of the Linux 4.16 kernel. On April Fools' Day. Ho Ho.
Well, technically, it was after midday so we know it's not a joke, so we can plough on.
After another seven release candidate (RC) cycle month, the final version rolled out on time, with Torvalds explaining that without a bunch of networking code it would be "very small and calm".
"We had a number of fixes and cleanups elsewhere, but none of it made me go "uhhuh, better let this soak for another week". And davem didn't think the networking was a reason to delay the release, so I'm not." he explains.
That said, most of the networking was already done in RC7 so don't expect too much of being wowed if you're up to speed with that one.
All told, there are 490,486 lines of new code, with 304,188 file deleted - that's a total of 186,000 extra lines of code, according to Phoronix.
The key changes (aside from networking) are about patching Spectre and Meltdown (yes, they're back in a never-really-went-away sort of way) from quick and dirty fixes to highly polished replastered walls where you can't see the join. This is particularly true for 64-bit ARM chips - not the main vulnerability but nevertheless needed.
There's also support for Microsoft Hyper-V guests which is being offered in part as a work around the performance drops caused by patching Spectre and Meltdown.
A new approach for patching IBM z s390 called Expolines also give that some extra protection too.
The other big highlights seem to be around CPU support, in particular, there's KVM support for AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization and Smarter task migration for improving the scalability of Linux.
As ever, the end of one Linux kernel cycle is the beginning of another, so gird your loins and prepare your codes to commit to Linux 4.17 - the window for submissions is open now. µ
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