The linux Kernel 2.6.38 released with a lot of changes and improvements.The new release includes the much-hyped performance improvement patch and many feature enhancements and bug fixes. The kernel includes support for Transparent Huge Pages, Transmit Packet Steering (XPS), automatic process grouping, and a new RCU (Read/Copy/Update)-based path name lookup. The patch submitted by Mike Galbraith in November 2010 improved the job scheduler a lot. It could noticeably speed up the Linux desktop experience.
The patch to the scheduler can reduce latency by as much as 60 times. It changes how the process scheduler assigns CPU time to each process so the system will group all processes with the same session ID as a single scheduling entity.
The support for AMD Fusion graphics dubbed Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) which integrate an x86 CPU and discrete-level graphics on a single chip are back. The Kernel 2.6.38 brings improvements to the virtual file system, Btrfs compression and memory management. The kernel comes with improved Wireless LAN (WLAN) drivers for chips from Atheros, Broadcom, Intel, Ralink and Realtek.
Future Linux distributions, Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15 will be based on kernel 2.6.38 or its successors.
- Speedy ‘Wonder Patch’ Debuts in New Linux Kernel (pcworld.com)
- New Linux kernel gets a speed boost (infoworld.com)
- New Linux Kernel Goes Faster (pcworld.com)
- An Update On Reiser4 For The Mainline Linux Kernel (descentintodarkness.wordpress.com)
- Linux 2.6.38 speeds group scheduling, VFS (linuxfordevices.com)
- Binary Kernel and Modules for the Iomega iConnect running Linux Debian (diogogomes.com)
- Linux 2.6.38 Released (linux.slashdot.org)
- How The Kernel Manages Your Memory (duartes.org)