Linux 3.3 Released, Merges With Android

By: Zach Walton - March 19, 2012

As we reported on last month, Linux developers are becoming more important to businesses the world over. Their jobs are just about to get easier with the release of Linux version 3.3.

The release notes for Linux 3.3 is pretty big, but here’s the summary that should give you all the important details before we dive into the nitty gritty of it all:

This release features as the most important change the merge of kernel code from the Android project. But there is more, it also includes support for a new architecture (TI C6X), much improved balancing and the ability to restripe between different RAID profiles in Btrfs, and several network improvements: a virtual switch implementation (Open vSwitch) designed for virtualization scenarios, a faster and more scalable alternative to the “bonding” driver, a configurable limit to the transmission queue of the network devices to fight bufferbloat, a network priority control group and per-cgroup TCP buffer limits. There are also many small features and new drivers and fixes are also available.

The biggest change is definitely the Android merge. While Android is built on a version of Linux, the two were separate entities from the start. The release notes claim this was from developers on both projects not being able to agree on several differences. This is just the start of the merger with more Android features making their way into Linux with future updates.

The Open vSwitch addition is not meant to replace the current Linux bridge switch. It’s simply meant to help Linux handle more complex scenarios. It also supports standard management interfaces like sFlow, Netflow, RSPAN and CLI.

They are also implementing byte queue limits which is a “configurable limit of packet data that can be put in the transmission queue of a network device.” This will allow users to make sure high priority packets receive reasonable amounts of latency.

A super cool addition is a new Linux architecture that supports the Texas Instruments C6X. This opens up Linux to the TI family of C64x single and multicore DSPs.

The rest of the document details the massive amounts of changes coming to drivers, cores, memory management, file systems, networking, virtualization, crypto, security and tracing/profiling. You can check out the full release at the Linux page.

With the release of Linux 3.3 and its merging with Android, it will make Linux even more desirable for developers. Are you excited to use 3.3? Are you already using it? How is it? Let us know in the comments.

[Lead image: tortugoc/Flickr]

About the Author

Zach WaltonZach Walton is a Writer for WebProNews. He specializes in gaming and technology. Follow him on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+ +Zach Walton

View all posts by Zach Walton
  • Paul

    With this merge I am hoping Chrome OS & Android will unite & I will be able to use LibreOffice on the Transformer Prime.