What came in through the merge window
As of this writing, the 2.6.21 merge window is wide open. Something over
2,300 changesets have been merged, making changes all over the tree. This
article summarizes the major changes merged so far for the 2.6.21 release.
User-visible changes include:
- A big ACPI update with sysfs support for backlight devices, a
simplified table manager which adds more functionality with less code,
the removal of 16-bit support, experimental support for removable
drive bays, and more.
- New device drivers add support for Silan SC92031 network interface
chips, Qlogic 4032 NIC chips, PA Semi PWRficient Ethernet chips,
Avocent PC300/RSV and PC300/X21 WAN cards, Atmel MACB network
controllers, Yukon Extreme Ethernet chips, several USB-attached NCR
printers, Chelsio T3 10G Ethernet adapters, GTCO CalComp tablets,
Delkin compact flash adapters, Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet adapters,
VIA VT1708(a) HD audio codecs, several auxilliary LCD display devices,
PC-style CMOS real-time clocks, SNI RM 53c710 SCSI controllers,
Gigaset M101 wireless RS232 adapters, and S3 Trio/Virge video chips
Also, the long-broken SKMC and Oaknet drivers have been removed.
- Sysfs shadow directory support - allowing different namespaces to have
different views of sysfs - has been added.
- USBmon has a new binary API which promises to be somewhat faster and
more complete than the older, text-based interface.
- A big PowerPC/Cell/PS3 update, including support for the Toshiba
"Celleb" architecture, serial ports accessed through OpenFirmware, and
AMCC Taishan 440GX evaluation boards.
- Netfilter now has a connection tracking helper for the SANE network
- Encryption modules for the FCrypt and Camilla cipher algorithms have
- The ASoC (ALSA System on Chip) layer has been added to the ALSA sound
system. It provides improved support for sound processors on embedded
systems; it includes a dynamic power management subsystem. A number
of platform and codec drivers for ASoC have been merged as well.
- Tainting the kernel from
user space is now supported.
- Minix V3 filesystems can now be mounted on Linux systems.
- eCryptfs now has public-key encryption support.
- A long set of patches has made the kernel able to support boot-time
command lines of arbitrary length.
Changes visible to kernel developers include:
- Quite a few kobject functions - kobject_init(),
subsystem_register(), subsystem_unregister(), and
subsys_create_file() - now return harmlessly if passed a
- Many kernel subsystems which once used class_device
structures have been changed to use struct device instead;
this work is toward a long-term goal of getting rid of the class tree
and having a single device tree in sysfs.
- Significant changes have been made to the crypto support interface.
- The device resource management patches, making a lot of driver code
easier to write, have been merged.
- The DMA memory zone (ZONE_DMA) is now optional and may not be
present in all kernels.
- The local_t type has been made consistent across
architectures and has gained some documentation.
- The nopfn() address space operation can now return
NOPFN_REFAULT to indicate that the faulting instruction
should be re-executed.
- A new function, vm_insert_pfn(), enables the insertion of a
new page into a process's address space by page-frame number.
- A new driver API for general-purpose I/O signals has been added.
- The sysctl code has been heavily reworked, leading to a number of
internal API changes.
A number of patches are still waiting to merged, and some decisions are yet
to be made. Come back next week for what should be the final list of major
new features in 2.6.21.
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