EDIT2: The master branch of rpi-update has now updated to 4.9 kernel tree.
EDIT3: We have now also bumped apt-get to 4.9. Thanks to users who helped with testing!
We are planning to move to the 4.9 kernel in the near future.
One advantage is there is a lot more raspberry pi specific support in the newer upstream kernels which reduces the number of downstream raspberry pi patches and so reduces maintenance effort.
The 4.9 kernel is planned to be an LTS kernel (long term support).
Obviously a newer kernel will bring additional kernel features and support for more devices (e.g. USB devices like wifi and dvb).
You can read up on what appeared in 4.5, 4.6 ,4.7, 4.8 and 4.9.
We will do this in a few stages. Starting now, we are updating the "next" firmware branch to the 4.8 kernel.
We are using this as an interim step to help with regression testing.
Also 4.8 kernel has been significantly tested in LibreELEC builds.
Currently 4.9 is at 4.9-rc8. The "stable" 4.9.0 is likely to here in a few weeks and we'll switch to 4.9 then.
Assuming testing is positive, we'll update the master rpi-update firmware branch.
Eventually the 4.9 kernel will appear in "apt-get upgrade" and on new raspbian images in the future.
Code: Select all
sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update
Please report if there are any regressions compared to the 4.4 kernel.
Obviously this release is for testers who like to live on the bleeding edge. It's not intended for beginners, or users who need stability.
Backing up is always advisable. There may be regressions. There may be improvements. But we won't know without testers trying it and reporting back.
Note: The "next" firmware branch also supports the new USB/network boot modes.
However if you don't enable the new modes, that should be harmless.