At the Ubuntu Developer Summit we had a session on the likely kernel version for the Ubuntu Karmic release. The decision at the session was that we would be aiming for a v2.6.31 based kernel for Karmic. This was based in large part on release timing, we are expecting this kernel to be released around three weeks before our beta freeze which gives us a fair amount of time to stabalise the kernel before the final release.
What goodness can we expect from the Karmic kernel. We are obviously expecting Intel support for Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) to be stable and enabled. We have some hope of seeing ATI Radeon KMS for at least some cards, indeed the first cut of this support has just been merged. We can expect some good improvements in the Intel graphics drivers as a whole. We also get some new in kernel compression LZMA which might allow smaller kernels and initramfs files saving a bit of space on the CDs. There is a pile of DVB updates merged already . Overall there is nearly 20k changes in already and the merge window is still open. Even staging drivers are getting some love.