Linux 3.4 Released With Increased Graphics Support And Big Btrfs Improvements

Brad Chacos

Some head-in-the-clouds philosophical types say time is like a rubber band, stretching out slowly then snapping forward in a burst; the proof to that hypothesis may just lie in the humble Linux kernel. It took Linus and co. a whopping 20 years to finally release Linux 3.0 last July , and less than a year later, Linux 3.4 is already here. The new build brings several new things to the table, with a multitude of Brtfs updates and support for the latest graphics options being the most noticeable changes.

Linux 3.4 sports initial support for Nvidia's GeForce GTX 600 series, although it's limited to basic unaccelerated modesetting. Experimental support for the graphics portion of Intel's new smartphone-focused Medfield chips is also included, as is full support for AMD's Radeon 7000 series and the brand spankin' new Trinity APU. (Now we just need Steam for Linux to finally rear its head …)

Btrfs got a whole heap of improvements, including enhanced performance and error handling, larger metadata blocks and new repair data recovery tools.

As with any Linux kernel update, that's just the tip of the iceberg, though most of the other changes are either minor or behind the scenes (including the interesting "X32 ABI," which lets some 64-bit programs run with 32-bit pointers). Read all the dirty details in Linus' LKML announcement or on the Kernel Newbies website .

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