The latest Linux kernel was officially released this week, bringing several new features with the start of the new year. Linux 3.13 can now be compiled and installed freely.
Updates in 3.13 includes nftables, a packet filtering framework meant to take the place of iptables. While iptables can sometimes cause trouble during system updates, nftables is expected to do away with these problems. Nftables is also backwards compatible, meaning iptable users can implement it without much work.
Another significant update in 3.13 is Linux block layer scaling. This should help the OS better use the capabilities of newer hardware by allowing millions of IO requests per second. In particular this should help Linux better take advantage of the speed of SSD drives.
In addition to these larger updates, 3.13 contains many other features and improvements. Support for capping device power consumption, NFC payments, and Intel’s Many Integrated Core multiprocessor architecture has been added. Performance for multiprocessors using non-uniform memory access (NUMA) has been improved, as has the performance of the Squashfs filesystem. Hugepage workloads should now have improved page table access through page table access scaling. TCP Fast Open optimization is now enabled by default and network transport layer computation rates can now be capped.