Linux Kernel 4.8 Release Enables NVIDIA's Pascal, Raspberry Pi 3 And AMD GPU Overclocking

The first release candidate of the 4.8 Linux kernel has just been unleashed, which means its stable release is not too far behind. This particular version packs a serious wallop, so let's dive right in.

For starters, there's some serious graphics love in 4.8, which includes initial NVIDIA Pascal support. That support relates to the open-source Nouveau driver, and is quite minimal at this point: it just adds mode-setting support. For users of Pascal-based graphics cards in Linux, NVIDIA has been offering proprietary drivers since each card's respective launch (including the new GeForce GTX 1060).

Linux Kernel 48

What's a little unexpected in this kernel is the addition of AMD GPU overclocking, which like the NVIDIA update above, relates only to the open-source driver. At the moment, there is no GUI that interacts with this functionality, so you'll have to get your hands dirty with a terminal if you want to take advantage of it.

If you're a Raspberry Pi fan, you might be happy to know that the RPi 3's Broadcom BCM2837 SoC is now supported. A handful of other SoCs have had support added as well.

Raspberry Pi 3

In addition to these updates, the 4.8 kernel also adds an Intel Virtual Button driver for Skylake laptops, KVM updates, a new reboot mode driver that's supposed to help out with ARM hardware, as well as support for the touchscreen on Microsoft's Surface 3.

If you're experienced with compiling your own kernel, you can grab the 4.8rc1 kernel from the official source. Otherwise, it's best to wait until your distro of choice adds it to the their official repositories.