Kernel 2.6.37 released
After nearly eleven weeks of development, early this morning, Linus Torvalds <a rel="external" href="http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1083342" target="_blank">released</a> Linux 2.6.37. The new version of the Linux kernel includes the first code to run as a Xen host, but still lacks the Xen backend drivers which Xen guests use to access the host system's disk and network. The Ext4 file system now works more closely with the block layer, which will improve its performance on larger machines. The kernel supports batch-discard – a way to inform disks such as solid-state drives (SSDs) of all unused areas in one go.
As always, many new or extended drivers improve hardware support. These include support for the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP), various Wi-Fi chips and Apple's Magic Trackpad. Linux 2.6.37 is also the first modern Linux kernel that can work without the <a rel="external" href="https://rt.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Big_Kernel_Lock" target="_blank">Big Kernel Lock</a> (BKL), which has been limiting scalability on multiprocessor machines.
<a href="http://www.h-online.com/open/features/What-s-new-in-Linux-2-6-37-1163376... new Kernel Log</a>
from The H Open takes an in-depth look at all of these innovations and also looks at the forecast for the next Linux version, 2.6.38, expected towards the end of March or early April.