Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
With the release of 2.6.29-rc1 last weekend, Linus Torvalds concluded the first phase, called the merge window, of the development cycle. This phase allows for incorporating the substantial changes intended for the next kernel version into the source code management system of the Linux kernel.
As a result, 2.6.29 is now in the second, stabilising phase, which usually takes eight to ten weeks and gives the kernel developers the opportunity to correct mistakes and make minor changes that are unlikely to cause further flaws. As major changes are only rarely discarded during the stabilising phase, the kernel log can already discuss the most important changes expected for 2.6.29 in the "What's new in 2.6.29" series.
Kernel-based mode setting
Almost 21 months after its first major announcement, the support for kernel-based mode setting (KMS) for recent Intel graphics hardware has been integrated into the main development branch of Linux (for example 1, 2, 3). This technology gives the kernel noticeably more control over the graphics hardware. When KMS is active, the kernel sets the graphics mode suitable for a monitor as soon as all the required hardware components (ACPI, PCI, graphics hardware etc.) have been initialised.