The Linux 3.17 kernel has been released

The Linux 3.17 kernel has been released. This marks the first release to ship with a working i8k driver. In addition, the Linux kernel now includes some workarounds for devices using the PLLA audio driver.

This release also includes a number of important features including:

Support for the new UASP/SND_SOC_UASP APIs added to the USB subsystem in 3.15


A new PCI subsystem to allow the PCI subsystem to be extended to host controllers which cannot be configured by other means. This is particularly relevant to devices such as P2P dongles, which must be able to work with a host controller which is not configured by the system BIOS

Support for new network driver APIs such as VETH and NETLINK added in 3.15

A new network driver API allowing userspace applications to access a new driver API via ioctl which is much more like the new SOCKET API used in the BSD userland than the previous ioctl API

A large number of improvements and improvements to the ARM architecture, allowing Linux to boot on the first gen ARM SoCs such as the Allwinner and Marvell chips

Support for the new ARM big.LITTLE architecture support (ARMv8-M) added to the Linux kernel


A number of driver and toolchain improvements

You can find the complete changelog at or via this git repository

Included in this release is a number of patches for issues found by the 3.17.x LTS kernels and for issues raised by the various mailing lists and development groups:

Ivan Sidorov (1) has improved the i8k driver, enabling the module to reliably support most of the ACPI-related features available for all Intel ICH/ICH-M machines.

In a mailing list posting, Stefan Biere (1) has contributed a patch to better isolate and protect against a race condition which can occur when a USB device or a USB port is removed, preventing a USB port from using the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed PHY even when USB 3.0 is connected to it.

(1) maintainer of the USB 3.0 kernel driver, device-mapper and libpflash

This release includes:

A major overhaul of the virtual filesystem subsystem, allowing it to be much faster and more flexible

A large number of improvements and new features

A number of improvements and fixes to the ARM and U-Boot kernel

The virtual filesystem subsystem is a very core Linux subsystem which is responsible for allocating storage for virtual files like a device file, or the root file system, amongst other functions.

The virtual filesystem subsystem was previously based on a very old filesystem and kernel subsystems and was a very slow and unstable one.

The virtual filesystem subsystem has been almost completely overhauled in this release and has been merged in the master tree. This makes the virtual filesystem subsystem much faster and more stable.

The virtual filesystem subsystem now has full support for the following filesystem types:

A number of fixes and improvements have been merged from the ARM subsystem

This release includes:

A new VETH driver that makes it much easier for Linux to make use of a virtualized network, allowing it to move away from using a single network device and instead use a number of virtual interfaces that share the network device, allowing it to use more of the network features available in the kernel

A number of kernel fixes to allow ARM devices to use the new VETH driver

There are also many significant new features added to the VETH and NETLINK drivers in this release, allowing Linux to make use of new network features.

A number of features and improvements have been merged to the U-Boot kernel

The VTB driver makes it much easier to debug and find issues with the U-Boot bootloader. This release includes the following changes:

A range of fixes to the VTB (U-Boot) bootloader, U-Boot

The U-Boot bootloader now includes support for the new UASP/SND_SOC_UASP APIs added to the USB subsystem in 3.15, allowing U-Boot to read and write to devices through the newer UASP/SND_SOC_UASP API when using U-Boot’s udevd/modprobe interfaces

A number of kernel fixes and improvements to fix bugs and make the U-Boot kernel much more stable

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