Linux 2.6.30 released, Torvalds proclaims 'new world order'

Linux kernel 2.6.30 has been released with hundreds of changes from the previous version, including a new architecture for suspend and resume which Linus Torvalds says switches the kernel to a “new world order”.

“Hopefully now done with the suspend/resume irq re-architecting, and have switched to a new world order,” Torvalds announced to the Linux kernel mailing list. “Although I suspect lots of details will still change, of course.”

“I'm sure we've missed something, and I know we have some regressions pending. At the same time on the whole it looks pretty good. We've fixed a few regressions in the last few days, and there's always 2.6.30.x.”

With the depreciation of “major” kernel releases like 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, and so on, more functionality is now being added to “minor” point releases and 2.6.30 is no exception.

According to Linux kernel release wiki,, 2.6.30 adds a lot to file system support including the object-based storage device files system NILFS2; a caching layer for local caching of NFS data; the RDS protocol for high-performance, reliable connections between the servers of a cluster; the POHMELFS distributed networking file system; and automatic flushing of files on renames in ext3, ext4 and btrfs.

“And as usual, I'll wait a day or two before really opening the merge window,” Torvalds said. “I want people to actually test this one rather than immediately sending me 'please pull' requests.”

In addition to file systems, another area of high activity is device drivers with hundreds of changes and enhancements to storage, graphics, network (including wireless), sound, digital TV, USB, FireWire, and bluetooth device support.

This will translate to be better end-user experience if devices work “out-of-the-box” with Linux distributions based on kernel 2.6.30.

The kernel also includes “staging drivers” which are in an early development stage, and while they are experimental, they're included in the source tree “in the hope of encouraging its development and stabilisation”.

Developments in virtualization include lguest can now use KVM hypercalls and KVM itself gains a new guest debug interface.

CPU development is centered around the the x86 desktop and server and ARM mobile architectures.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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