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Linux Kernel 3.14 boasts numerous improvements and new features.

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Linux Kernel 3.14 boasts numerous improvements and new features.

After a week’s delay to put the last minute finishing touches on its latest build, version 3.14 of the Linux kernel was officially released on March 30th. Dubbed “Shuffling Zombie Juror” (and not Pi, as some had speculated), this newest version boasts a number of exciting improvements and feature-rich additions.

What are some of the most exhilarating new offerings for Linux Kernel 3.14? Read on!

  • ZRAM Stability: At long last, the 3.14 kernel will include official support for ZRAM memory compression (or the artist formerly known as Compcache). Already integrated into Google’s ChromeOS, Android 4.4, Lubuntu, and Cyanogenmod, this feature was a long time coming – it had been stuck in Linux’s kernel staging branch since February 2010.

 

  • PIE Code: While Linux Kernel 3.14 may not be named “Pi”, it still has some to offer in the form of Proportional Integral Controlled Enhanced (PIE) Code. This code serves as one in a long line of attempts to combat bufferbloat – high latency and jitter, caused by excess buffers in the network. Interactive applications like video streaming and voice over IP services are particularly prone to performance problems caused by this issue. PIE aims to control the average queuing latency to a target value, resulting in lowered latency and high link utilization, even in congested network situations.

 

  • Improved VM Support: With the addition of kernel support for Xen Paravirtualization, users can expect big improvements down the road for Linux-based cloud and VM architectures. The 3.14 changes should increase performance of the Xen hypervisor thanks to this functionality. The full details of the Xen PVH aren’t yet set in stone, but the current support should set the stage for further developments.

 

You can read the full list of changes and additions over at kernelnewbies.org – there’s a lot to take in! In spite of this, work on Linux Kernel 3.15 is already in full swing. The second test build was already released this past Sunday, and is slated for a June release with just as many, if not more new features and improvements.