Linux 2.6.39 Released – Better AMD Graphics Card Support And Better Performance With EXT4

Linux Torvalds has announced the release of Linux 2.6.39. Compared to Linux 2.6.38, this is a rather modest release. Nevertheless, there are some new exciting features, and a few bugs worth mentioning.

Announcing the release, Torvalds expressed some doubts as to whether he should have done a RC instead of the final build. This is what Torvalds wrote announcing the release:

There were certainly more code changes since -rc7 than I really was all that happy with, and some outstanding discussion. Doing another -rc wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad idea, but then I just decided that if I held off making the release, next week my timing choices would have been even worse.


Linux 2.6.39 brings with it an update to the Radeon driver. The new kernel now supports AMD Cayman series of graphics cards. The support is not complete, though, as 2D and 3D acceleration are not available yet because of DRM issues.

A bug in the open source Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics cards, which causes performance issues, have also been fixed.

Better performance with EXT4 filesystems

EXT4 on Linux continues its improvement with Linux 2.6.39. By default, EXT4 filesystems on Linux 2.6.29 will use the “Multiple Page-IO Submissions” option. This feature had been available since Linux 2.6.37, but has been enabled by default only in this release. Enabling the “Multiple Page-IO Submissions” option is said to bring about a considerable improvement in the performance of the file system.

These are not the only new features in Linux 2.6.39. If you want to see all the changes, you should refer to the change log.

The known bugs

There are already two known bugs, or rather regressions, found in Linux 2.6.39.

Linux 2.6.39 has not, unfortunately, fixed a very important bug that was also found in Linux 2.6.38 – the power consumption bug.

A new bug that has crept in at the last-minute is the broken support for Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors.

[Sources: H-Online Phoronix]

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Ricky Laishram

Ricky Laishram is a Linux and FOSS enthusiast. He is passionate about open source technologies and likes to keep abreast with the latest developments in KDE and Ubuntu. He also loves listening to music and is a huge Tegan snd Sara fan. You can follow him on twitter @ricky_lais.