Linux kernel 3.6 released

It has been just two months or so since Linux 3.5 was unleashed, another update was released as Linux 3.6 on October 1st, 2012.

Torvalds said

“There haven’t been any huge new architectures or filesystems, it’s all ‘solid progress.’ That may not sound all that exciting, but the devil is in the details, and there’s a lot of small fixes all over.”

The most important and talked-about changes in Linux 3.6 are as follows:

1. Hybrid sleep

It now offers a mode which can be categorised as a hybrid of sleep mode and Hibernation. It first copies the contents of RAM on Hard Drive as it does in hibernate mode and then goes into sleep mode. What we get from this mode? The system won’t just resume quickly but no data will be lost on loosing power.

If the system power gets cut-off somehow, the system will resume from hibernated image, else the resume process will go normally as always and the hibernate image will be discarded.

2. TCP Fast Open

This feature was developed by Google, it helps in creating a TCP connection quickly in some cases. What we actually get from it? As per release notes, you will see improved page load times on popular websites. In Linux 3.6, client side is now supporting this feature. Server side coming soon.

3. Better drivers

In all Linux kernel updates, a lot of drivers are added to improve hardware support; this update is no different. This update primarily targets Sony and Apple devices.

4. Better memory management

Several changes were made for the betterment of memory management, a new feature is introduced which allows swap read-ahead IOPS (input/output operations per second) which promises more throughput along with lower CPU utilization.

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