Linux 3.14 Stabilizes ZRAM, Reduces Buffer Bloat
The new Linux kernel includes improved memory compression, scheduling and networking capabilities.Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, formally released the Linux 3.14 kernel March 30. The new 3.14 Linux kernel follows the Linux 3.13 kernel that was released in January. Given that the new kernel carries the release number 3.14, which is a number that is also well-known as the mathematical Pi constant, there was early speculation that Torvalds might name the new kernel Pi. It's something that Torvalds shot down early on in the Linux 3.14 development process. "I realize that as a number, 3.14 looks familiar to people, and I had naming requests related to that. But that's simply not how the nonsense kernel names work," Torvalds wrote in his announcement for the first release candidate of Linux 3.14 . "Besides, any self-respecting geek will know pi to twenty decimal places from their dorky youth, so 3.14 isn't really that close, is it?" There was also some early speculation that the Linux 3.14 kernel might be released on Pi Day, March 14 (3/14), but that also didn't happen. The Linux 3.14 kernel went through a total of eight release candidates prior to the final release. "We had a few fairly late changes that I could have done without, but the changelog from -rc8 [release candidate 8] is still pretty small, and I'm feeling pretty good about it all," Torvalds wrote in his release announcement for the Linux 3.14 kernel. "If we did end up with any last-minute problems due to the final spurt of patches, they'll be pretty specific, and it really didn't make sense to me to delay the release without anything known pending." Among the new features that is landing in the Linux 3.14 kernel is support for ZRAM memory compression technology. While ZRAM is only now officially landing as a stable technology that is directly integrated with the Linux kernel, it is a technology that is already deployed by Google in its ChromeOS and Android 4.4 operating systems. ZRAM has actually been in the Linux kernel staging development branch since the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, which was first released in February 2010.