2.6.13 is here and will soon be in Portage (as testing) for Gentoo users. One thing that will almost certainly cause disruption is that devfs has finally been removed from the kernel, so you pretty much must use udev. If you don’t have udev installed, it will be installed as a dependency of the 2.6.13 kernels, so hopefully the problems should be minimized and udev will just work when you reboot.
Some more of the notable changes I’ve been following since 2.6.12:
- inotify is now included, which is a mechanism where the kernel tells user-space when a file or directory changes. Very useful for those situations where applications need to watch for a file or directory change, which is common.
- kexec – optional fast reboots which don’t need to fully reboot and go through all the BIOS initialization again, another kernel is booted directly from the old one.
- skge is now included, a driver for SysKonnect Yukon network adapters which actually works (a driver for Yukon-II adapters, sky2, will hopefully be included in 2.6.14)
- it8212 is finally included, a driver for a popular IDE RAID adapter found on many motherboards
- HZ (frequency of timer interrupt) now defaults to 250 (ticks per second) and is configurable, which might increase battery life on laptops, but this change is still under debate
- Lots of bug fixes, new hardware support, more drivers, and other stuff which I have missed