Before the 2.6.25 merge window closed...
The 2.6.25 merge window closed on February 10, after the merging of an
eye-opening 9450 non-merge changesets. Most of the changes merged for
2.6.25 were covered in the
"what got merged"
articles. This, the third in the series, covers the final 1900 patches
merged before the window closed.
User-visible changes include:
- There are new drivers for SC2681/SC2691-based serial ports, Dallas
DS1511 timekeeping chips, AT91sam9 realtime clock devices, Compaq
ASIC3 multi-function chips, Cell Broadband Engine memory controllers,
Marvell MV64x60 memory controllers, PA Semi PWRficient NAND flash
interfaces, Marvell Orion NAND flash controllers, Freescale eLBC NAND
flash controllers, Sharp Zaurus SL-6000x keyboards, Fujitsu Lifebook
Application Panel buttons, IPWireless 3G UMTS PCMCIA cards,
intelligent storage device enclosures, Winbond W83L786NG
and W83L786NR sensor chips, Texas Instruments ADS7828
12-bit 8-channel ADC devices, and Sony MemoryStick cards.
- Also added are updated video drivers for Radeon R500 chipsets (2D
acceleration is now supported) and Intel i915 chipsets (suspend and
resume now work properly).
- Several more obsolete OSS audio drivers have been removed. The old
mxser driver has also been removed in favor of mxser_new, now called
- File descriptors returned by inotify_init() now support
signal-based (using SIGIO) I/O. There is also a new
notification event (IN_ATTRIB) sent when the link count of a
watched file changes.
- The mac80211 (formerly Devicescape) wireless subsystem is no longer
- The memory use controller for containers has been merged. This
controller was described in this LWN article, but the
patch has evolved somewhat since then and the details have changed.
Some documentation can be found in Documentation/controllers/memory.txt.
- ACPI thermal regulation support has been added; see Documentation/thermal/sysfs-api.txt for
details on how it works. The ACPI code also now supports the Windows
Management Instrumentation interface, and uses that support to make
recent Acer laptops work.
- ACPI now provides support for users who want to override their
system's Differentiated System Description Table (DSDT).
- The XFS filesystem now supports the fallocate() system call.
- ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) now properly supports devices with multiple
network interfaces (and, thus, multiple paths to the host).
- Support for the MN10300
architecture (little-endian mode only) has been added.
- Support for a.out binaries has been removed from the ELF loader. Pure
a.out systems will still work, though.
- Disk I/O statistics (as seen in /proc/diskstats and under
/sys/block) have been augmented with more information about
request merging and I/O wait time.
- The S390 architecture now implements dynamic page tables - processes
will use 2-, 3-, or 4-level page tables depending on the size of their
- The ext4 "in development" flag has been added; mounting an ext4
filesystem will now require an explicit "I know this might explode"
Changes visible to kernel developers include:
- Many nopage() methods have been replaced by the newer
fault() API; the near-term plan is to remove
nopage() altogether. See this article for a
description of the new way of "page not present" handling.
- This cycle has also seen a bit of a reinvigoration of the long-stalled
project to eliminate the big kernel lock. A number of BKL-removal
patches have been merged, with more certainly to come.
- A generic resource counter mechanism was merged as part of the memory
controller patch set; see <linux/res_counter.h> for the
- reserve_bootmem() has a new flags parameter. Most
callers will set it to BOOTMEM_DEFAULT; the kdump code,
though, uses BOOTMEM_EXCLUSIVE to ensure that it is the only
one to touch the memory.
- Most architectures now have support for cmpxchg64() and
- There is a new set of string functions:
extern int strict_strtoul(const char *string, unsigned int base,
unsigned long *result);
extern int strict_strtol(const char *string, unsigned int base,
extern int strict_strtoull(const char *string, unsigned int base,
unsigned long long *result);
extern int strict_strtoll(const char *string, unsigned int base,
long long *result);
These functions convert the given strings to various forms of
long values, but they will return an error status if the
given string value, as a whole, does not represent a proper
integer value. These functions are now used in the parsing of kernel
At this point, the merging of features is done (though there has been a bit
of pushing for one or two things to slip in) and the stabilization period
begins. With luck, that process will go a little more quickly than it did
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