The Linux kernel is the core used by GNU/Linux operating system distributions from Red Hat, Novell Suse and others. The new release was finalised on Tuesday, and was publicized in a post from Linux developer Linus Torvalds on Wednesday.
The most prominent new features include support for two new filesystems, according to release notes published by Kernelnewbies, a group of Linux developers.
Support was added or updated for the NILFS2 filesystem, still under development, which is designed to be more resistant to crashes; and for POHMELFS (Parallel Optimized Host Message Exchange Layered File System), a high-performance and network distributed file system.
The kernel also comes with updated support for other filesystems, including EXOFS, a file system for object-based storage devices, and the FS-Cache filesystem. Tweaks have been made to generally improve file system performance, Kernelnewbies said.
Storage improvements include the addition of support for DST, a technology designed to simplify the creation of high-performance storage networks.
The kernel adds a feature contributed by Intel for speeding up the kernel's boot time by carrying out several steps of the boot process at once. "This feature speeds up the total kernel boot time significantly," Kernelnewbies wrote in their notes on the release.
Other changes include allowing the use of LZMA and Bzip2 compression of kernel images, so that they take up less space; and new or updated drivers that add support for additional hardware and hardware features.
A new architecture for putting hardware into suspend mode has been put into place, according to Torvalds. "We're hopefully now done with the suspend/resume irq re-architecting, and have switched to a new world order," he wrote in the newslist post.
This article was originally published on ZDNet UK.