Linux Kernel 4.10 features and know if you should upgrade now

The much anticipated Linux Kernel 4.10 has been released! The brain behind the development of Linux Kernels ‘Linus Torvalds’ took 7 weeks to build and it is a result of 13,000 commits. Linux 4.10 comes with new features and improved hardware support including Intel GTV,  Nouveau driver, AMD Zen, Intel Turbo Boost Max, latest ARM devices, etc.

Linux Kernel 4.10 Features

  • Supports Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology
  • Improved writeback management
  • FAILFAST support for MD RAID5
  • Support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors
  • Faster WLAN support
  • Ability to analyse Cacheline contention on NUMA systems
  • Supports latest ARM devices including Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Snapdragon 808 and 810, Samsung Exynos 5433, Pine64, etc.
  • Improved Raspberry Pi 3 support
  • Improved Microsoft Surface 3 tablet support
  • Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology support
  • Encryption support in UBIFS
  • Nvidia DRM driver improvement
  • Improved support for AMD Radeon GPUs
  • Provides history of task scheduling

Prominent new features include virtual GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) support, new “perf c2c” tool that can be used for analysis of cacheline contention on NUMA systems, support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors (Intel Cache Allocation Technology), eBPF hooks for cgroups, hybrid block polling, and better writeback management.

A new “perf sched timehist” feature has been added in Linux kernel 4.10 to provide detailed history of task scheduling, and there’s experimental writeback cache and FAILFAST support for MD RAID5.

Should You Upgrade?

Linux kernel 4.10 is a mainline kernel, which although implies the most advanced version as of today, but it’s not yet recommended for deployment in Linux distributions. The usable Linux 4.10 kernel will be available after the first point update, namely Linux Kernel 4.10.1. This marks it ready for production. The upcoming Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) may be the first Linux distro to ship with Linux 4.10.

Having said that, those who are into development can still go ahead and download the Linux 4.10 from kernel.org and play around with it. For complete details of what’s new in the Linux Kernel 4.10 head over to the official webpage.

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