Most interesting in this release are certainly the new file systems: Red Hat’s GFS2 found its way into the Kernel as well as EXT4, although EXT4 is only experimental. Also eCryptfs found its way into the Kernel, and I have to admit that I wasn’t aware of that file system – but it sounds very interesting: it is a GnuPG like encryption system for files inside of file systems. The files carry all information needed to decrypt them in a header so you can also transfer the data from one file system to another. Sounds like we will finally have file-based encryption in default Linux (ReiserFS4 can also perform file encryption), before there was only the option to encrypt complete partitions.
Besides the file system stuff this release made pretty clear that the Open Sound System is going to die in the mid term: several OSS drivers have been removed, and all people still using OSS drivers are supposed to switch to ALSA.
And with the continued effort of improving the new ATA driver system the old IDE drivers are also going to die. But that’s a slow process where only these drivers are deleted which has been replaced by better ones.
Last but not least Atmel’s AVR32 is now officially part of the Linux-Kernel. This is, btw. a typical example for what I call community: community does not necessarily mean that the people working for it are not employed: Atmel will support the new architecture because it is in their interest, and they will pay developers for that. And with contributing to Linux, they are part of the Linux community, independent from the fact if they do this for money in a corporate environment or not. The key is that both sides, corporate developers/companies and free developers/projects, work together and on the same level.
Hope that this kernel will find its way into Fedora pretty soon, would like to see how it performs and would also like to collect some experience playing around with ecryptfs. I would *love* to see transparent encryption in my KDE sessions. Well, or not see, you know what I mean 😉