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Monday, April 21, 2008

Linux kernel 2.6.25

From ** Linus Torvalds has annointed a blockbuster new kernel that required some 7.5 megabytes just for its changelog. The 2.6.25 release sets the stage for a war between ARM and x86 for the personal computing environment of the future, while also merging tons of improvements for real-time devices, desktops, and servers.
  • MEI/Panasonic MN10300/AM33 architecture support
  • Marvell Orion architecture support
  • A new interface for more accurate measurement of process memory usage
  • A 'memory resource controller' for controlling the memory usage of groups of processes
  • Realtime group scheduling
  • A tool for measuring high latencies called latencytop
  • ACPI thermal regulation
  • Timer event notifications through file descriptors
  • An alternative MAC security framework called SMACK
  • An ext4 update
  • BRK and PIE-executable address space randomization
  • RCU preemption support
  • FIFO spinlocks in x86
  • EFI support in x86-64
  • A new network protocol called CAN
  • Initial ATI r500 DRI/DRM support
  • Improved device support and many other small improvements
Linux came to servers first. In
1999, Linus said he wanted to win the desktop, but that embedded was
the nearest land of opportunity for Linux. It took a few years, but
today (and for the last two or three), Linux has been the top embedded
OS in new project starts, according to many market research firms. So
the desktop is next, right?

Not exactly. A funny thing
happened, on the way to the desktop. The desktop became embedded.
Today, mainstream computing devices like the Asus EEE already have
solid state disks, smaller form-factors, and other hallmarks of
traditional "embedded" devices. There are even a few laptop-like
devices showing up with ARM-based processors. Tomorrow, the personal
computing device of choice may well be a pocketable iPhone-like device
capable of plugging into any handy KVM (keyboard, mouse, and video
display terminal).

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