“Biggest Ever” Linux Kernel 4.9 Released | Feature Overview

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Short Bytes: Linus Torvalds has released Linux kernel 4.9. It’s the biggest ever Linux version in terms of commits. A lot of bulk in this release comes due to AMD GPU register definition files and Project Ara’s “greybus.” Torvalds has also announced that Linux kernel 4.10 merge window will be shorter due to Christmas weekend. Update: Here are the new and best features of Linux kernel 4.10

Back in October, we told you that Linux 4.9 is expected to arrive as the biggest ever Linux release in terms of the number of commits. This news was shared by Linus Torvalds with the announcement of Linux 4.9-rc2. Well, the wait is finally over as Linux 4.9 is here in all its glory.

In the announcement post, once again Torvalds talked about the number of lines of kernel code. This is due to some specific issues like lots of code from AMD GPU register definition files. A lot of lines also comes from “greybus”, the portion of Google Project Ara code that managed to slip into this release.

Breaking down, two third of Linux 4.9 code consists of drivers. Rest are arch updates, documentation, generic networking, and filesystems.

Brief feature overview — Linux kernel 4.9

Apart from a couple of additions mentioned above, the significant features shipping with Linux kernel 4.9 are:

  • Intel DRM fixes
  • Better Raspberry Pi Zero support & other 28 ARM devices
  • Better security, thanks to Vmapped stacks
  • Memory protection keys implementation
  • Filesystem improvements

The release of version 4.9 automatically opens the merge window for kernel 4.10. However, due to Christmas weekend, it’ll be shorter than usual. “I will certainly stop pulling on the 23rd at the latest, and if I get roped into xmas food prep, even that date might be questionable,” Torvalds added.

Read the complete Linux kernel 4.9 release announcement here. Grab the latest release from Kernel.org.

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Also Read: Linux Lexicon — How Does Linux Kernel Work?

Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]

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