Linux founder Linus Torvalds has released version 3.4 of the Linux kernel. While a lot of the updates are changes under the hood that most users won’t notice, there are a few welcome features for folks thinking about picking up a shiny new computer (or graphics card) this year.

AMD Trinity

Linux kernel 3.4 adds support for the latest graphics processors from NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel. That includes:

  • Initial support for NVIDIA GeForce 600 “kepler” graphics
  • Support for AMD Radeon 7000 series graphics used in “Trinity” APUs
  • Support for Intel Medfield graphics

Other updates include improved support for the Btrfs file system, memory management changes, security, and virtualization tweaks. You can find more details in the change log.

The Linux kernel is the core software in all Linux-based operating systems that tells the software how to interact with a computer’s hardware. Now that the new kernel is available developers can start incorporating it into their operating systems — although it will be a little while before we start to see popular Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu, Mint, or Fedora built with the Linux 3.4 kernel.

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