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Rejoice, Penguinistas, Linux 4.4 is upon us

New bits mean it really might be the year of Linux on the (virtual) desktop

Version 4.4 of the Linux kernel has been finalised and released into the wild.

Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds announced the release on Sunday evening, US time.

What's new this time around? Support for GPUs seem the headline item, with plenty of new drivers and hooks for AMD kit. Perhaps most notable is the adoption of the Virgil 3D project which makes it possible to parcel up virtual GPUs. With virtual Linux desktops now on offer from Citrix and VMware, those who want to deliver virtual desktops with workstation-esque graphics capabilities have their on-ramp to Penguin heaven.

Raspberry Pi owners also have better graphics to look forward to, thanks to a new Pi KMS driver that will be updated with acceleration code in future releases.

There's also better 64-bit ARM support and fixes for memory leaks on Intel's Skylake CPUs.

Torvalds also says the new release caught a recent problem, by “unbreaking the x86-32 'sysenter' ABI, when somebody (*cough*android-x86*cough*) misused it by not using the vdso and instead using the instruction directly.”

It will, of course, be months before the new kernel pops up in a majority of production Linux rigs. But it's out there for those who want it. And Torvalds is of course letting world+dog know he's about to start work on version 4.5. ®

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