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The Linux 4.13 kernel has been released: Focus on file systems and hardware support

The Linux kernel version 4.13 has been released, which brings many new features especially in the field of file systems and device support. Expands the support to the new syscall statx ().

The Linux 4.13 kernel was published by Linus Torvalds. The new version of the kernel brings with it changes especially in the field of file systems and device support.

There are many innovations that are introduced with this kernel. You can list some of the most important ones, such as support for AMD Raven Ridge GPUs in the AMDGPU DRM driver, as well as initial support for the Cannonlake and Coffeelake processors GPUs; there are also changes concerning the IBM POWER processors (eg the management of the idle of POWER8 and POWER9) and a large number of innovations regarding the ARM world (support for SoC Rockchip, MediaTek, Allwinner; development like BeagleBone Blu, LeMaker Guitar Board, etc.).

Interesting is the new syscall statx (), which provides advanced file information. The new syscall is able to provide information on the precise time of file creation, on the version number of the data, number of inode generation and to provide only the desired information (particularly useful for file systems such as NFS). Note that the new syscall requires the implementation of the file system to be usable; EXT4 provides support already from Linux 4.12, while with Linux 4.13 support also for Btrfs, F2FS and UBIFS. The new syscall also improves support for the so-called ” bug of 2038 “, when the bits to indicate the date and time in UNIX-like systems will end.

As reported by Phoronix, EXT4 now supports directories containing up to about two billion items, compared to the current 10 million. This feature, called ” largedir “, solves problems in specific use cases with an extremely large number of files.

Improved support for Thunderbolt, as well as Realtek’s audio hardware (eg ALC215, ALC285, ALC289). The maximum speed value of the PCI connection is also exposed via sysfs, which should make it easier to read the value through programs or scripts. Also improved support for some controllers, such as the Xbox 360 controller, the Thrustmaster Wheel, some flying Saitek and Mad Catz and other devices.

Support for the thermal drivers of AMD Ryzen processors is still missing; owners of such processors cannot monitor their temperature using hwmon. The arrival is hoped for Linux 4.14, which will be an extended support release (LTS).

You can download the kernel sources directly from the kernel.org site.