Linux 3.2 Kernel Released

Among the major enhancements in the 3.2 kernel is a pair of improvements to two Linux filesystems. The Ext4 filesystem is getting a boost that will see filesystem blocks grow to up to 1 MB in size up from the traditional 4 KB.

“This adds supports for bigalloc file systems,” Linux kernel developer Ted Ts’o wrote in his initial code commit. “It teaches the mount code just enough about bigalloc superblock fields that it will mount the file system without freaking out that the number of blocks per group is too big.”

Ext4 first landed in the Linux kernel back in 2008 with the 2.6.28 kernel as the successor to Ext3. It is often used as the default filesystem in Linux distributions.

Looking beyond Ext4 is the next-generation Btrfs filesystem that is seen by some as the possible future successor to Ext4. In the new Linux 3.2 kernel, Btrfs continues to mature with performance improvements, including a scrub read-ahead.

“This change raises the average disk bandwidth utilization on my test volume from 70 percent to 90 percent,” Kernel developer Arne Jansen wrote in his code commit. “On another volume, the time for a test run went down from 89s to 43s.”

Read the full story at ServerWatch:
Linux Rings in the New Year with 3.2 Kernel

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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