Running various Linux distributions on my own computers has been a mixed blessing over the years. While I've experienced many successes, something I don't talk about as often are the areas that frustrate me. In this article, I'll highlight my top list of Linux frustrations that bug me to this very day.
There's many bug and performance fixes that landed while some corruption fixes and other patches will land later in the 3.15 merge window. The Btrfs code was also changed to avoid using its own async threads in favor of regular kernel work-queues, in hopes of using more generic code, but it might affect the file-system's performance.
Clonezilla Live is a Linux distribution that is designed to do bare metal backup and recovery on a wide variety of file systems and operating systems. It's very similar to other older cloning software, such as True Image or Norton Ghost.
The distribution is based on Debian and, as usual, the developers have upgraded the underlying GNU/Linux operating system and the release is now based on the Debian Sid repository, as of March 31, 2014.
The highlights covered by Daniel for "neat" i915 DRM 3.15 changes include per-process address space support (currently limited to Ivy Bridge and Haswell but Bay Trail and Broadwell support is coming), fine-grained display power domain handling, runtime power management infrastructure work, support for inheriting the firmware frame-buffer as another step in Fastboot support, a lot of Broadwell patches, improved support for frame-buffer compression, 5.4GHz DIsplayPort support, generic DisplayPort aux helpers, and large cursor support to benefit HiDPI displays. For Intel's 4K display support, they now support 5.4GHz DisplayPort but they don't yet support multi-stream support (MST) as most 4K DisplayPort screens expose themselves as two displays to the driver.
Cumulus Networks has announced that IXLeeds has chosen the Cumulus Linux operating system for the company’s upgraded Internet Exchange Point. IXLeeds is a not-for-profit Internet Exchange Point (IXP) based in Leeds, UK. A bid process that included Extreme Networks and Juniper Networks preceded the deployment of Cumulus.
elementary OS 0.2, one of the best-looking Linux distributions in existence, was released in August 2013, but the developers are not standing idle and are working on the next version. A development version is available for download, if you want to try it out.
At the end of February, Broadcom announced the release of full documentation for the VideoCore IV graphics core, and a complete source release of the graphics stack for the BCM21553 cellphone chip. To celebrate, we offered a $10k prize to the first person to port this codebase to the BCM2835 application processor that sits at the heart of the Raspberry Pi, and to get Quake 3 (which already runs on the Pi) running on the newly open ARM driver, rather on the closed-source VPU driver. Our hope was that the ported driver would be a helpful reference for anyone working on a Mesa/Gallium3D driver for VideoCore IV.
Microsoft (MSFT) Windows XP's end is nigh, and you might think a longtime Linux user such as myself would have little reason to care. But I do, because XP's impending end of life means virtualizing Windows apps on open source platforms is about to become much more difficult. Here's why.
Hopefully the Linux kernel LTO support will finish up in the Linux 3.15 kernel otherwise Linux 3.16 so we can move onward with some benchmarks of an LTO-optimized Linux kernel to see the performance wins at the cost of greater compile times and memory usage during the compilation process. It's worth noting that with the upcoming GCC 4.9 are also some significant link-time optimization enhancements.
Improvements to the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) code within the Linux kernel allow for more code to be shared amongst drivers for this SATA disk interface. In particular, a lot of embedded platforms were implementing AHCI controller support and were doing so in a variety of different ways. With Linux 3.15, libahci and the AHCI platform code have been improved so that these platform drivers can share more common code. There's also been the introduction of some new drivers to replace older drivers.