A Look at What's Next for the Linux Kernel
The upcoming Linux 4.2 kernel will have more contributors than any other Linux kernel in history, according to Linux kernel developer Jonathan Corbet.SEATTLE—The Linux kernel continues to grow—both in lines of code and the number of developers that contribute to it—yet some challenges need to be addressed. That was one of the key messages from Linux kernel developer Jonathan Corbet during his annual Kernel Report session at the LinuxCon conference here. The Linux 4.2 kernel is still under development, with general availability expected on Aug. 23. Corbet noted that 1,569 developers have contributed code for the Linux 4.2 kernel. Of those, 277 developers made their first contribution ever, during the Linux 4.2 development cycle. Even as more developers are coming to Linux, the pace of development and releases is very fast, Corbet said. He estimates that it now takes approximately 63 days for the community to build a new Linux kernel milestone. Linux 4.2 will benefit from a number of improvements that have been evolving in Linux over the last several releases. One such improvement is the introduction of OverlayFS, a new type of read-only file system that is useful because it can enable many containers to be layered on top of each other, Corbet said.
Linux networking also is set to improve small packet performance, which is important for areas such as high-frequency financial trading. The improvements are aimed at reducing the amount of time and power needed to process each data packet, Corbet said.