Linux kernel’s development continues release after release, thanks to the great effort of Linus Torvalds. Currently, the latest version of the Linux kernel is 5.18. However, even though it was released just a couple of weeks ago, the 5.19 version has already got its first release candidate release. Let’s have a look at the new features and the changes in Linux kernel 5.19.
Intel has many improvements for 5.19
Intel CPUs will also receive some serious improvements with the upcoming Linux kernel release. Those improvements mostly affect Alder Lake and the upcoming Raptor Lake CPUs. Both of those series have different types of cores inside them and utilizing the right cores for the tasks is crucial. Since it is a new concept for desktop-grade PCs, operating systems can’t take advantage of the new architecture. Linux kernel 5.19 will fix most of the issues that currently exist.
Additionally, Intel’s new In-Field Scan (IFS) driver will help identify faulty processors. The company is also improving its measures for split-lock applications that misbehave and affect performance, by vastly slowing them down. Finally, the Intel Trust Domain Extensions for Xeon Sapphire Rapids scalable CPUs land on Linux kernel 5.19. It delivers Secure Arbitration Mode, a multi-key total-memory encryption engine, and remote attestation alongside other security-oriented features.
AMD SNP support for Milan CPUs
AMD, on the other hand, delivers its Secure Nested Paging security feature for its Milan processors to the upcoming Linux kernel release. It provides hardware-based memory integrity protection which aims to stop malicious hypervisor-based attacks and more.
There are improvements for the AArch64/ARM64 architecture as well. Linux kernel 5.19 delivers the initial ARMv9 Scalable Matrix Extension support. However, there is no KVM virtualization support for SMEs for now; it is expected to land in future kernel releases. Improved support for Apple M1 chips is also on the way.
Alongside the fixes and improvements for CPUs, the Linux kernel also updates the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) for GPUs. DRM updates prepare the kernel for the upcoming Intel and AMD GPUs as well as the integrated graphics unit in the Raptor Lake CPUs. Additionally, it brings HDR support through DisplayPort for Haswell and newer CPUs with integrated graphics. Those changes alongside many new improvements have been done with almost half a million new code lines.
File system enhancements
Linux kernel 5.19 delivers Btfrs feature updates as well as exFAT, EXT4, and EROFS file system improvements. Those improvements are expected to deliver up to 7% and 73% to the Btfrs and exFAT file systems, respectively, and some bug fixes and enhancements to EXT4 end EROFS.
Other notable changes
Linux kernel 5.19 delivers a bunch of improvements in the random number generation code as well. The improvements will enhance the VM security while uplifting the performance of the code. The update will also deliver a new feature for CPUIDs; enabling users to use the clearcpuid= parameter to set strings for the CPU features that need to be disabled on the systems by simply typing their name, without the need of remembering their ID numbers.
Currently, the development of the Linux kernel 5.19 is at the “first release candidate” stage. There should be 5 or 6 more RC versions to be released each week; pointing out the final release would be ready on July 24th or July 31st.