Just as we expected in the past week because of how well development had gone and what the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds published He launched yesterday Linux 5.11, the latest stable version of the kernel that it develops. The release is official, but it will still take a few days for it to appear in the first serious distributions, including those that use the Rolling Release development model.
Before going on to detail the news that comes with Linux 5.11, comment two things: Torvalds is especially happy that the stable version it is even smaller than the rc7. But perhaps the funniest thing is that, due to the day it was released, the kernel changed its codename to "Valentine's Day Edition", that is, the Valentine's Day Edition. Below you have the list of the most outstanding novelties that have come along with this version, list collected by Michael Larabel.
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Linux 5.11 Highlights
- Intel SGX enclave support finally merged.
- AMD S2idle compatibility improvements.
- Intel P-State Schedutil is being tuned for greater efficiency.
- One missing feature is that AMD Zen voltage / current reporting is removed from the k10temp driver due to a lack of public documentation to be able to correctly report all hardware values.
- Performance improvements for AMD EPYC with PostgreSQL.
- Intel Platform Monitoring Technology is now supported as a hardware telemetry feature for organizations and data centers.
- Improvements in OpenRISC and RISC-V.
- AMD Zen / Zen2 / Zen3 RAPL PowerCap support.
- Intel workload tips on INT340x and other power management jobs.
- Lots of new ARM hardware support, including mainline support for the failed OUYA game console.
- The AMD Sensor Fusion Hub driver was finally merged.
- Zen 3 EPYC support in AMD Energy driver.
- The AMD SB-TSI sensor driver has been merged for the sideband temperature sensor interface on newer AMD server platforms.
- AND Frequency Invariance support for Zen 2 and later.
- The AMD SoC PMC controller was primarily designed to help with embedded / mobile hardware power management.
- A new Intel driver is the Intel IGEN6 driver for in-band ECC with new client SoCs, initially Elkhart Lake / Atom x6000E.
- Another new driver from Intel is the RFIM code for Radio Frequency Interference Mitigation on DDR frequency tuning and voltage regulating built into select SoCs to mitigate 5G and WiFi wireless issues.
- KASLR support for Loongson 64.
- Initial support for AMD Green Sardine APUs.
- Continuous Activation on Intel DG1 Graphics.
- Support for Dimgrey Cavefish as another dGPU RDNA2 variant.
- Intel Keem Bay display support with a new driver added.
- Intel Integer Scaling support.
- Intel Big Joiner support for 8K outputs on a single port.
- Intel asynchronous page turning support.
- Some performance improvements for the Radeon RX 6800 series.
- Many other DRM updates.
- Initial support for AMD Van Gogh APUs.
- Performance improvements and other improvements to Btrfs.
- F2FS now supports per-file data compression and case folding and encryption on the same data.
- XFS now allows you to mark file systems for repair and not mount those marked file systems until the user space XFS repair utility has been run on them.
- More VirtIO-FS performance improvements.
- OverlayFS support for unprivileged mounts.
- Bug fixes for EXT4.
- TIF_NOTIFY_SIGNAL should help with IO_uring performance.
- SD Express support.
- VirtIO-MEM "Big Block Mode" is now supported to allow device block sizes that can exceed the size of a single Linux memory block.
- Xen security fixes for recent advisories on OOM behavior activation and privilege escalation and information disclosure issues.
- AMD SEV-ES host support for KVM.
- Intel WiFi 6GHz (WiFi 6E) band support within the IWLWIFI controller.
- The Qualcomm Ath11k driver now supports Quick Initial Link Setup (FILS).
- WiMAX support is being downgraded to the testing stage with Linux developers ultimately looking to remove WiMAX support if no users show up.
- Faster ChaCha and AEGIS128 cryptographic performance for ARM network packets.
- Finally, a MIPI I3C host controller interface driver after the I3C HCI 1.0 specification came out in 2018.
- USB4 and Thunderbolt enhancements, including support for Intel Maple Ridge and a new driver to test if the USB4 / Thunderbolt ports work.
- Sound support for Intel Alder Lake.
- Pioneer DDJ-RR DJ controller support has been added.
- Support for Guitar Hero Live PS3 / Wii U dongles
- Lenovo added Lenovo ThinkPad palm sensor detection support.
- Dell is now exposing some configurable BIOS settings via sysfs to allow manipulation of some Dell settings via Linux.
- The beginning of seeing the first bits of PCI Express 6.0.
- Corsair PSU Controller for high-end Corsair PSUs exposing various sensor metrics via USB.
- Other hardware monitoring enhancements, including the Apple SMC driver finally supporting Intel-based Xserve servers.
- VP8 Video Decoding for Allwinner Cedrus Media Controller.
- Intel's Habana Labs preparing for new hardware support.
- Support for newer ASUS gaming laptop keyboards.
- Auxiliary Bus is a new kernel bus introduced.
- Syscall User Dispatch has been merged with the initial use case to intercept system calls made by some Windows programs in Wine so that they can be easily intercepted with little overhead. This is because some newer Windows games try to bypass the Windows API in the name of copy protection schemes.
- Linux input now has an 'inhibit' function to ignore input from selected devices such as on convertible / 2-in-1 laptops when the keyboard is folded to temporarily ignore all inputs.
- SECCOMP filter performance acceleration.
- Removal of Qt4 support with the Kconfig build system user interface. Qt5 is required if you want to use the Qt Qconf interface to configure the kernel build switches along with other toolkit options such as ncurses and GTK.
- Continued crackdown on CPU MSRs pushing user space.
- A new controller to support an inexpensive LCD character display to serve as a console output device.
Hirsute Hippo will arrive in Ubuntu 21.04 in April
The release of Linux 5.11 is already official but, in general, distributions tend to wait until it is ready for its mass adoption, or what is the same, to the release of Linux 5.11.1, to include it in their operating systems. Ubuntu will do it in April, with the launch of the 21.04 series, in what will be one of its most outstanding novelties, since Hirsute Hippo will stay in GNOME 3.38 and GTK 3.