Linux 3.12 Gets Aggressive as Linus Torvalds Plans Linux 4.0
A new Linux kernel debuts as the Linux creator ponders the future of the open-source operating system.The fifth major milestone release in 2013 of the open-source Linux kernel is now available, providing users with improved file system performance. Linux creator Linus Torvalds also used the launch of the new Linux 3.12 kernel as an opportunity to talk about the future of kernel development. The 3.12 kernel follows the Linux 3.11 release, which debuted in September, providing users with support for the Lustre file system. In Linux 3.12, the ext4 file system, which is used as the default file system in many Linux distributions, is getting a big boost. The ext4 improvement includes the addition of what Linux developers are referring to as "aggressive extent caching." An "extent" is a common way for modern file systems to store data in a more continuous manner. Ext4's predecessor ext3 used a system in which every 4 kilobytes of data had a piece of metadata pointing to where that data is on the drive. Ext4, in contrast, simply allocates data from a given starting position. Ext4 first debuted as a stable, production-ready file system with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel in 2008. According to the code commit for the new aggressive extent caching, it is a feature that will decrease memory usage in workloads that are mostly read-only.