Linux 3.6 has been officially released, and from most angles it appears to be a lack-luster one, bringing only what Linus calls “solid progress”. Of course like any major kernel release, Kernel 3.6 comes with a bevy of new drivers, optimizations and more. But one features stands out above all the rest, and it’s really a big deal.
Hybrid Sleep is not new technology by any means, but it has been noticeably absent from Linux for many, many years. Traditionally, users would have to choose their poison; sleep or hibernation. Each one of these has sound benefits, but also deficits to the user. No more.
This feature comes at the behest of the rising climate of mobile support in Linux. Of course, something that runs on ‘all the things’ must keep every use-case in mind. And when I say mobile, I mean anything with a battery. Laptop users are now free to rejoice! Here is what it gives you.
Hybrid sleep writes the state of your device to both RAM and the hard disk, simultaneously. This is a real usability boon for everyone, because you retain all the benefits of hibernation, and at the same time, your machine has the ability to resume immediately.
For example, sleep will behave as expected. Close the lid to your laptop and have the computer resume immediately when you’ve opened the lid. If you were to lose power to your device, the machine will enter hibernation mode. Once power is restored, your image of your computer’s state will be recovered from disk.
It certainly is a simple concept, and we should all be thankful that this functionality will benefit us in the same way it has been benefiting users of Mac OS X and Windows for some time now. I’m sure that Ubuntu will be using this as a major selling point in the near-term and I can imagine that this will benefit laptop users the most, though we would personally welcome this functionality in our Android devices as well.
How many of you have been in the middle of typing out a Google Talk message only to lose power to your device? Key lime pie anyone?
How does everyone feels about this latest kernel release?