Yesterday, Linus Torvalds announced the latest stable release of Linux – kernel version 4.14. This release includes many new features and improvements, the most noteworthy being:
- Bigger memory limits – bumping them from up to 64 TiB of physical address space all the way up to 4 PiB (64 times more, if you're keeping track)
- zstd compression for Btrfs file systems
- Secure Memory Encryption support for AMD processors
- Heterogeneous Memory Management for GPUs – which will bring improvements to GPU-intensive computation tasks
- Zero-copy support for sockets
Along with that, this release brings improved hardware support for many devices, ranging from various ARM SoCs to various Wi-Fi modules. Some noteworthy additions are:
- Raspberry Pi Zero W support
- HDMI CEC support for Broadcom VideoCore 4 (used in Raspberry Pi devices)
- 4K at 120hz support for AMD Vega 10 GPUs
- Dell Wireless 1802 support
- Support for RTL8723BE
- Support for various Broadcom wireless devices
This release is slated to become the next Long-Term Support release, meaning that the Linux Foundation will most likely choose this kernel to create a branch that will focus on delivering a stable kernel for various device vendors. This kernel will remain in support, receiving security patches and various feature backports for approximately two years.
With this kernel now released, work is already starting on the next version of Linux, 4.15. One of the most interesting features that might make it into the upcoming release (assuming Linus Torvalds has no objections) is a big pile of AMD CPU and GPU improvements, featuring everything from AMD Zen temperature monitoring support to a new open-source Radeon driver (called AMDGPU).
You may find out more about the features added to this release at the Linux Kernel Newbies website.