The creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, has announced the release of the latest Linux kernel. The new Linux kernel 5.16 brings enhancements and new features for different use scenarios, file system improvements, and broadened hardware support. The final release has arrived after eight release candidates.
Better gaming on Linux
Playing video games on Linux can sometimes be a daunting process. Thanks to the game developers, for the latest years Linux users had the chance to play their favorite games on Linux. Also, gaming platforms such as Steam, allow users to play Windows games on Linux OS with the help of the projects like Proton. For sure there is another option, the most popular one: Wine. Wine is not a windows emulator as the project itself mentions. But it allows Linux users to play Windows games on their computers.
For instance, World of Warcraft does not have a Linux client officially. The Linux users can play the game by just installing Wine on their systems. Thanks to AMD developers, it is easy to find open-source drivers for AMD-based graphic cards. For the Nvidia side, the users still have to install the proprietary drivers to have a high-performance gaming experience with their Nvidia graphics cards. In short, playing games on Linux is getting better and better day by day.
The latest version of the Linux kernel brings futex_waitv() kernel system call from Collabora, which results in better gaming performance while playing both native Linux games or Windows games on Wine. Gaming on Linux is slowly growing, and this new feature should accelerate the process.
KFENCE support for PA-RISC architecture
Looking at the CPU and instruction sets related area, the 5.16 release supports Intel AMX (Advanced Matrix Extensions) 64-bit paradigm for servers and the cluster scheduler to the task scheduler. For file system health reporting, it adds a new fanotify event type. And for faster memory management, it brings a new page folios mechanism.
Linux kernel 5.16 adds KFENCE (Kernel Electric-Fence) support for PA-RISC architecture and ass ARM 8.6 timer extensions. Automatic Multicast Tunneling, improved Zstandard compression, new audit support for the io_uring subsystem, and a new device-mapper subsystem to generate audit events summarize some of the improvements the new kernel brings. But it doesn’t end here…
File systems got improvements
RISC-V architecture gets KVM support, BPF exception tables, and support for time namespaces. The 18-month-old Snapdragon 690 processors are now also supported. Btfrs file system gets zoned namespace support. EROFS file system gets LZMA compression and support for multiple devices. The F2FS file system also gets a new fragment allocation mode mount option.
Data Access Monitor (DAMON) also has new features like operation schemes, proactive memory reclamation, and physical memory monitoring.
Linux kernel 5.16 brings support for mobile devices and ARM-based devices that are listed below:
- Fairphone 4
- Sony Xperia 10 III
- Sony Xperia XZ1
- Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
- Sony Xperia XZ Premium
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Value Edition
- Xiaomi Mi 5
- Xiaomi Mi 5s
- Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
- Xiaomi Mi Note 2
- Xiaomi Mi Mix
- Ftec Pro1 QX1000 series mobile phones
- LG G Watch R smartwatch
- Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
- Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100
- ROCK Pi 4A+
- ROCK Pi 4B+
- Netgear GS110EMX switch
- Globalscale MOCHAbin 7040
- Kobo Libra H2O e-reader
- Tolino Vision 5 e-reader
Drivers are also updated for broader hardware support. You can see the most notable hardware that Linux kernel 5.16 brings support below:
- Nintendo Joy-Con controller
- Nintendo Switch Pro controller
- Apple Magic Keyboard 2021
- Realtek 802.11ax (new driver)
- Sharp LS060T1SX01 panel
- Surface Pro 8
- Surface Laptop Studio
- Intel PXP
- 13th gen Intel Raptor Lake processors
- DisplayPort 2.0 support for AMD GPUs
- USB4 DisplayPort tunneling support for AMD GPUs
Here is the traditional Linus Torvalds message for the Linux kernel 5.16 final. Linus Torvalds, the developer of the Linux kernel, said:
« Not a lot here since -rc8, which is not unexpected. We had that extra week due to the holidays, and it’s not like we had lots of last-minute things that needed to be sorted out.
So this mainly contains some driver fixes (mainly networking and rdma), a cgroup credential use fix, a few core networking fixes, a couple of last-minute reverts, and some other random noise. The appended shortlog is so small that you might as well scroll through it.
This obviously means that the merge window for 5.17 opens tomorrow, and I’m happy to say I already have several pending early pull requests. I wish I had even more because this merge window is going to be somewhat painful due to unfortunate travel for family reasons. So I’ll be doing most of it on the road on a laptop – something I generally try to avoid.
That said, the merging part of the merge window works perfectly well on a laptop, it’s just that I normally really want to do more local build testing between merges than a laptop really allows me to do. So the main downside during travel is that I end up relying much more on the automated build testing in the cloud. And so really hope that everything has been properly cooking in Linux-next so that there are no unnecessary issues that pop up when things hit my tree.
Of course, realistically our automated build testing is so good anyway, and people have been pretty good about Linux-next, that maybe my local builds aren’t _that_ important. I do end up occasionally hitting issues that should never have made it as far as my tree, but it’s not like it’s a common – or generally serious – issue.
Anyway, I don’t expect any real issue, but I’ll probably be jetlagged and in odd timezones, so my response time might be “variable”.
But hey, before that merge window even opens, you still have some time to give a shiny new kernel release some TLC and testing. »
Download Linux Kernel 5.16
Linux kernel 5.16 is now ready to download for the users capable of compiling the kernel. The Linux distributions which use the 5.16 version on their core should be arriving at the end of this month.
What is the most recent Linux kernel?
How do you check the installed Linux kernel version?
You can check the Linux kernel version of your system with three different methods. You can simply use uname -r command to quickly check the Linux kernel version. You can also use cat /proc/version to check the version from a file. Installing the neofetch application is also an option to check the kernel version and it provides additional information about the other packages installed as well.
Can the Linux kernel be customized?
Yes, the Linux kernel can be customized. You can customize the Linux kernel by enabling or disabling specific options, and even adding new functionalities. But it’s a complicated process; you can check online guides about customizing the Linux kernel.
Is it legal to edit the Linux kernel?
Yes, it is legal to edit the Linux kernel since it is under General Public License.
Is the Linux kernel open source?
Yes, the Linux kernel is an open-source project.
Who developed the Linux kernel?
Linus Torvalds has developed and still developing the Linux kernel.
Does Linus Torvalds still work on Linux?
Yes, Linus Torvalds still works on developing the Linux kernel.
What is the Linux kernel written in?
Linux kernel code is written in the standard C programming language.