Today, May 15, 2016, Linus Torvalds announced the final release of the long anticipated Linux 4.6 kernel, which is now available for download for all GNU/Linux operating systems.

After being in development for the past two months, during which it received a total of seven RC (Release Candidate) builds, Linux kernel 4.6 is now here in its final production version, introducing a bunch of attractive new features, updated drivers, as well as numerous other security improvements.

“It’s just as well I didn’t cut the rc cycle short, since the last week ended up getting a few more fixes than expected, but nothing in there feels all that odd or out of line. So 4.6 is out there at the normal schedule, and that obviously also means that I’ll start doing merge window pull requests for 4.7 starting tomorrow,” said Linus Torvalds.

Here’s what’s new in Linux kernel 4.6

Prominent features of Linux kernel 4.6 include the implementation of the OrangeFS distributed file system, support for the USB 3.1 SuperSpeed Plus (SSP) protocol, offering transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, improvements to the reliability of the Out Of Memory task killer, as well as support for Intel Memory protection keys.

Moreover, Linux kernel 4.6 ships with Kernel Connection Multiplexor, a new component designed for accelerating application layer protocols, 802.1AE MAC-level encryption (MACsec) support, online inode checker for the OCFS2 file system, support for the BATMAN V protocol, and support for the pNFS SCSI layout.

Lastly, Linux kernel 4.6 includes support for cgroup namespaces and dma-buf, a brand-new ioctl engineered to manage cache coherency between the CPU and GPU. As usual, numerous drivers have been updated, and lots of bugs have been resolved. You can download Linux kernel 4.6 sources right now from kernel.org.

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