Brief: Linux Kernel 4.12 is released with initial support for AMD’s new Radeon RX Vega graphics card and NVidia’s GTX 1000 Pascal. Linus Torvalds believes that 4.12 is one of the bigger releases historically because it has over a million lines of new code.
Linux Kernel 4.12 is finally out. This is the second biggest release in terms of the number of lines of code. I know you should not measure any software in terms of the line of codes but since 4.12 consists of over a million lines of new code, I think it is worth mentioning that.
And I am not the only one to think like that. In Linus Torvalds’ own words:
“As mentioned over the various rc announcements, 4.12 is one of the bigger releases historically and I think only 4.9 ends up having had more commits. And 4.9 was big at least partly because Greg announced it was an LTS kernel. But 4.12 is just plain big,”
He also points that 4.12 shortlog was “too large to post” in the mailing list announcement. Despite being big in terms of development Torvalds assures that it was “normal development, just more of it”.
Main features of Linux Kernel 4.12
Some of the main highlights in the latest Kernel release are following:
- Linux kernel 4.12 is providing initial support for AMD’s Vega graphics card. Further improvements would be made in the future releases.
- Linux kernel 4.12 also brings initial GTX 1000 Pascal accelerated support. There isn’t yet any re-clocking support so it’s going to be very slow.
- Intel graphics driver will have atomic mode is turned on by default. This setting allows setting the output modes easily and avoiding any ugly situation.
- Support for Intel RealSense SR300 camera, Razer Sabertooth & Mad Catz Brawlstick
- USB Type-C port manager (responsible for managing the role of each USB Type-C port on the system depending upon the connected device)
- Improved keyboard backlight support in Dell laptop driver (which means my Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Edition will look even more beautiful)
- BFQ (Budget Fair Queueing) I/O scheduling (ensures that at no point a single application is using all of the bandwidth)
- Facebook’s Kyber I/O scheduler
- XFS and EXT4 get GETFSMAP (provides all known space mapping details) so basically, there are underlying improvement on these file systems
- Sound driver fixes for Skylake, Atom SoCs and others
If you are interested, you can read about more changes in Kernel 4.12 on Phoronix.
How to upgrade to Linux Kernel 4.12
You may get the latest Linux Kernel in few days, weeks or months, depending upon which Linux distribution you are using. If you want to go manual road (at your own peril of course) you can easily upgrade Linux Kernel on Ubuntu and Linux Mint thanks to the GUI tool Uuku. You can read this article to see how to upgrade Linux Kernel in Debian.
What do you think of the latest Linux Kernel release? Is it tempting enough for you to do a manual upgrade or you would wait for your distribution to provide it?