Linus Torvalds has released Linux kernel 3.1 on Monday with a vast number of improvements and feature additions.
The development of this version required an additional four weeks as a result of a server security breach at Kernel.org.
Linux 3.1 adds support for the open source OpenRISC CPU architecture, near-field communication (NFC), dynamic writeback throttling, a new iSCSI implementation as well as Nintendo's Wii controller. The feature description of the new Linux version states that the addition of OpenRISC support is designed to encourage open source computing platforms as described by OpenCores.
The integration of NFC should maintain Linux as an OS option for smartphones by supporting wireless data transactions such as payments as well as retrieving information via NFC tags and sharing data such as contacts, photos, songs, applications, or videos.
The SCST iSCSI feature in Linux has been replaced with the Linux-iSCSI.org SCSI implementation, which was initially released as a new version of an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard by RisingTide System back in 2007. Linux 3.1 is the first kernel version to integrate the interface and concludes a lengthy argument in the Linux community which iSCSI technology should be used.
There is also a stub driver to enable Linux to work with Nintendo's Wii remote via the HID protocol over Bluetooth. If this feature is received well by the community, we could be seeing a version of gesture based computing or gaming for Linux devices.