Linux Kernel 3.7 goes 64-bit for ARM

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Linus Torvalds has announced the official release of Linux Kernel 3.7.

"After a few more trials at fixing things, in the end we ended up reverting the kswapd changes that caused problems," Torvalds wrote in a newsgroup post.

"And with the extra rc, I had decided to risk doing the buffer.c cleanups that would otherwise have just been marked for stable during the next merge window, and had enough time to fix a few problems that people found there too. Other than that, there's a few networking fixes, and some trivial fixes for sparc and MIPS."

As expected, Linux Kernel offers a number of features and updates, perhaps most notably ARM multi-platform support, alongside a new 64-bit instruction set for CPUs based on ARM's v8 architecture.

"The newest ARM CPU model, ARM v8, adds 64 bit memory adressing capabilities for first time for the ARM world," KernelNewbies confirmed. 

"The new 64 bit CPUs can run 32 bits code, but the 64 bit instruction set is completely new, not just 64 bit extensions to the 32 bit instruction set, so the Linux support has been implemented as a completely new architecture."

Additional features include cryptographically signed kernel modules, btrfs updates, a preliminary version of perf trace, TCP Fast Open (Server Side), experimental SMBv2 protocol support, full FS v4.1 support (no longer experimental), virtual extensible LAN tunneling protocol and Intel supervisor mode access prevention support.

According to the folks at Phoronix, development has already begun on the Linux 3.8 kernel, which is expected to offer full support (+ graphics) for Intel Haswell architecture, Valley View for Atom, potential HDMI CEC kernel, optimized reclocking for Nvidia graphics cards, secure batch buffers, support for Samsung's F2FS file-system for flash devices and KVM virtualization support for ARM Cortex-A15 cores.