A new version of the Linux kernel has been released. Numbered at version 3.9, the new release has some nifty new features, including support for SSD caching, new processor architectures, power management improvements aimed at tablets and phones, support for Chomebooks and support for Android development.

The caching is present as the dm-cache target and is experimental. It lets one drive act as a cache for another drive. The ability to do this with an SSD exponentially increases data writes and general speed.

The new kernel brings a lot of new goodies

The new kernel brings a lot of new goodies

On the power management side, there is now a suspend-freeze mode between “suspend to RAM” and normal idle states in power usage. Thanks to the new kernel, the hardware can go into the deepest possible sleep state without actually powering down. This is aimed towards smartphones and tablets rather than PCs or notebooks. There is also support for zero power optical drives. These drives are able to shut down completely when the drive is empty, thus saving on power.

For Android development, there is now the Goldfish virtualised development environment. This allows developers to start an instance of Android on a standard kernel relatively easily. The support for Chromebooks seems to extend to all devices in the ecosystem.

Linux also now has native (albeit experimental) support for RAID 5 and RAID 6 file systems. Embedding RAID capabilities into file systems allows developers to implement features that are otherwise difficult using the layer system. RAID functionality essentially means that in the event of failure and replacement of a disk formating, only some areas of the data need to be restored, since it is able to determine which areas are occupied.

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