The latest version of the Linux kernel was released this week with a number of new features that will make life easier for developers of ARM processor based applications.
The new Linux 3.7 allows developers of Linux distributions to add support for multiple ARM platforms in the base kernel. In the past, each ARM variant developed by licensees of the architecture need its own custom kernel version.
Up to now this is one advantage of the X86 architecture over ARM in many embedded and mobile apps because the typical Linux distribution can boot and work in hundreds of different PC, mobile and embedded designs.
The new version incorporates a completely redone 64-bit ARM support, rather than simple extensions to the 32-bit architecture.
Also new are improvements to the Btrfs file system, which will significantly improve performance of Linux when running many commonly used applications such as Firefox. Version 3.7 of the kernel also has numerous smaller fixes and improvements.