Linus Torvalds launches ‘boring and ordinary’ Linux kernel 5.18 • The Register


Linus Torvalds released version 5.18 of the Linux kernel.

The chief maintainer Publish the release announcement was typical of those he made for each of the eight release candidates: this time around, he found no nasty surprises, the additions weren’t major or complex, and there were no glitches. affected the development process.

Torvalds called on developers to “run the boring old 5.18” before getting excited about the upcoming 5.19.

This description is a little harsh for the new kernel version, which offers notable additions such as software-defined silicon code that verifies cryptographically signed licenses to enable dormant Intel silicon features.

We asked Intel about it again, and the company still won’t share details. We were told that Intel is “committed to developing flexible solutions that meet the unique demands of our customers and partners and that lead the industry” and “At this time, we have no specific product details to share. regarding the activation of features”.

The mention of “feature activation” is at least new, and Intel’s admission of intent. The register will keep watching this one.

Other new features found in kernel version 5.18 include:

  • A host system management port driver for AMD EPYC processors, which should improve server performance in roles including nested virtualization;
  • More virtual memory support for RISC-V;
  • Support for Tesla’s fully autonomous driving chip;
  • A fix to a long-standing issue in the Ceph filesystem that was causing unnecessarily high CPU usage;
  • Fundamental work for Intel’s discrete graphics hardware;
  • Support for Raspberry Pi Zero 2W.

As per usual, Phoronix carries a very detailed Account many other features in the new kernel version.

The merge window for kernel version 5.19 is now open, which means that in nine or ten weeks Torvalds will deliver another version of the project. It seems to have a lot of support for future GPUs, other improvements for Apple’s M1 silicon, work in progress to blackmail Intel’s Alder Lake processors and their multiple core types under Linux, and an interesting addition to allow writing code for 32-bit RISC-V. silicon runs on 64-bit hardware.

One thing that doesn’t seem to be on Torvalds’ agenda is the future release naming convention. The 3.x kernel series ended with 3.19, before the 4.x series ended at 4.20. Perhaps the project’s practice of releasing an annual release with long-term support (LTS) could come into play, as five kernel releases have mostly come between those releases. A hypothetical Linux 5.20 would probably be an LTS candidate, but choosing to name that Linux 6.0 might also set a nice precedent. ®


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