Linux 2.6.28 Release

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The release of Linux kernel 2.6.28 was announced yesterday.

Linus writes:

It doesn’t really matter what day it is, or what holiday (if any)
you’re celebrating, because even if you sit at home, alone in your dank
basement, without any holidays or friends, I bring you a tiding of
great cheer: you can now download Linux-2.6.28, and compile it to your
hearts content,” wrote kernel chieftain Torvalds in a message to the
kernel mailing list. “In fact, even _if_ you have friends or family,
leave them to their endless toil over that christmas ham or turkey, and
during the night, when they’re asleep, you can give them that magical
present of a newly updated computer. When they wake up tomorrow
morning, tell them how you saw Santa crawl down the chimney with his
USB stick in hand, updating the OS of all good boys and girls.

Two big features stick out with this release:

Graphics Execution Manager (GEM)

One of the most significant additions in 2.6.28 is the Graphics
Execution Manager (GEM), a new GPU memory manager that was developed
primarily by Keith Packard and Eric Anholt of Intel. In some early
benchmarks that Intel conducted back in May, GEM was said to boost
framerates by between 50 and 60 percent for Intel 915 graphics
hardware. GEM represents a significant and much-needed step towards
modernization for the Linux graphics stack.

Ext4 filesystem

Another significant milestone in version 2.6.28 is that the ext4
filesystem has been declared stable and no longer designated as
“experimental”. As the successor to ext3, the most widely-used Linux
filesystem, ext4 boosts performance and reliability and provides a
clean migration path for existing ext3 users so that it can be adopted
without necessitating a reformat. In ext4, the theoretical maximum
filesystem size has been increased to 1 exabyte and the 32,000 limit on
the number of subdirectories that can be contained in any given
directory has been eliminated.

You can see the original article at Ars Technica.

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