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Work on Linux 5.6 Commences

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  • Linux 5.6 Is Looking Like It Will Be Spectacular With A Long List Of Features

    Linux 5.5 is likely to be released later today and with that are many new features. But as soon as 5.5 is released it marks the opening of the Linux 5.6 merge window and this next kernel has us particularly exciting... It's certainly shaping up to be one of the most exciting kernel cycles in recent times with many blockbuster features and improvements.

  • Linux 5.6 "HWMON" Changes Sent In With Big AMD Improvements

    Following the Linux 5.5 kernel release one of the first pull requests sent in is for the hardware monitoring "HWMON" subsystem updates. Dominating the HWMON interest this cycle is a long overdue SATA temperature monitoring driver and vastly improving the k10temp driver for AMD Zen desktop and server CPUs.

    The SATA drive temperature driver for capable Serial ATA drives is long overdue. This generic driver allows reporting SATA drive temperatures via the kernel using existing HWMON infrastructure, unlike existing tools running in user-space and requiring root access just to read SATA drive temperatures... Way long overdue especially with Linux 5.5 having already merged its equivalent NVMe drive temperature driver. Plus now integrating nicely with all the Linux utilities polling the exposed HWMON sensors.

  • The Initial AMD Family 19h Support Sent In For Linux 5.6 EDAC Driver

    SUSE's Borislav Petkov sent in the (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability) updates for the Linux 5.6 kernel on this first day of the new merge window.

    Notable to the RAS pull is the AMD Family 19h support in the AMD EDAC driver. Up to now Zen / Zen+ / Zen 2 has been Family 17h CPUs but for Zen 3 and beyond it's looking like it will be treated as Family 19h. With Linux 5.6 this early enablement is underway beginning with their memory EDAC (Error Detection And Correction) driver code.

Indie VPN WireGuard gets the Torvalds seal of approval with...

  • Indie VPN WireGuard gets the Torvalds seal of approval with inclusion in Linux kernel 5.6

    The WireGuard VPN protocol, which is smaller, faster and easier to configure than IPsec, has been merged into Linus Torvalds' git repository for version 5.6 of the Linux kernel, the next release.

    There is no set date for Linux kernel releases. Version 5.5 was released on 26 January 2020 and there is typically a couple of months between releases, so 5.6 may come in April.

Linux 5.6 Kernel Adds New System Call For "openat2"

  • Linux 5.6 Kernel Adds New System Call For "openat2" - More Extensible openat()

    A new system call added to the very feature rich Linux 5.6 kernel is openat2() for more extensible behavior compared to the existing openat() functionality.

    The openat() system call has long existed as similar to open() but allowing relative paths to the directory stipulated by the passed file descriptor. With time trying to extend openat() has led to headaches for developers that is now made more extensible with openat2().

Lots of Phoronix coverage/analysis of Linux 5.6 features

  • WireGuard + Multi-Path TCP Were Merged Tonight Into Linux 5.6

    The very exciting networking subsystem updates have made it into the Linux 5.6 kernel.

    The prominent networking changes for Linux 5.6 include:

    - Finally mainlining WireGuard! It's finally in! This secure VPN tunnel software that has already been ported to many platforms and shown much potential is finally in the mainline Linux kernel!

  • The Linux 5.6 x86 Platform Driver Changes Are Busy From Quirky Laptops To New Hardware Support

    Intel's Andy Shevchenko sent in the x86 platform driver updates on Monday for the newly opened Linux 5.6 merge window. There is the never-ending work on dealing with quirky Windows-focused laptops to adding new Intel hardware support and other additions.

    Highlights of the x86 platform driver work for Linux 5.6 includes:

    - The fix for ASUS TUF laptops with AMD Ryzen laptops so they stop overheating so easily and leading to crippled performance. That is a very important fix for these ASUS TUF gaming laptops with Ryzen CPUs due to the thermal policy not being properly set otherwise on Linux.

  • The Big Set Of x86 Changes Hit The Linux 5.6 Kernel

    As part of the Linux 5.6 development dance, Ingo Molnar began sending in all of the pull requests this morning for the different areas of the Linux kernel he oversees.

    On the x86/asm front for x86 Assembly changes to the kernel, there has been some code clean-ups as well as a micro-optimization/simplification to the 32-bit boot code. Most interesting though on the Assembly side is Linux 5.6 will now use Intel Ice Lake's Fast Short REP MOV instruction for faster memmove() performance. The FSRM instruction with Ice Lake should offer faster memory movements from one location to another. It will be interesting to see on the Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7 system if this ends up having any meaningful performance difference in the real-world.

  • SELinux For 5.6 Kernel Sees Largest Change Set In A While

    Among the changes are deprecating CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX_DISABLE (the option allowing run-time disabling of SELinux via a sysfs node), SELinux controls for the new kernel lockdown functionality, an SELinux control for move_mount, improved SELinux security label data lookups, enabling SELinux per-file labeling for BinderFS, and various fixes and other enhancements.

  • Power Management + ACPI Updates Submitted For The Linux 5.6 Kernel

    Linux power management subsystem maintainer Rafael Wysocki is punctual as always in sending in his feature pull requests for the new merge window.

    This time around the ACPI and power management updates for Linux 5.6 include items like:

    - Support for Tiger Lake Mobile and Jasper Lake within the Intel Runtime Average Power Limiting (RAPL) power-capping driver.

  • Many Linux 5.6 Sound Driver Updates Especially On The Intel / Sound Open Firmware Front

    Linux sound subsystem maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE today sent in all of the sound driver updates for this next version of the Linux kernel.

    On the sound front with Linux 5.6 includes:

    - The ALSA ABI is now compliant against the Year 2038 problem, which comes after various ioctls have been extended and other special-case handling.

  • Linux 5.6 Crypto Code Brings The New AMD TEE Driver

    Herbert Xu sent in all of the crypto subsystem changes on Tuesday for the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel. Interesting us the most out of this crypto work is the AMD Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) driver.

    This AMD TEE driver that is part of this crypto pull is for providing Trusted Execution / Secure Processor support on newer AMD platforms. The current AMD TEE support is focused on Raven Ridge APUs.

  • It's Finally Time: The Time Namespace Support Has Been Added To The Linux 5.6 Kernel

    The Time Namespace, which was originally proposed back in 2018 for allowing per-namespace offsets to the system clocks, has finally entered the mainline kernel in early 2020 with the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel.

    The Time Namespace ability to provide per-namespace offsets to the system monotonic and boot-time clocks is driven by container use-cases as explained in that article.

  • EFI Code Gets More Cleaning With Linux 5.6

    The EFI kernel code has seen a variety of clean-ups and low-level improvements to it for the Linux 5.6 cycle.

    Among the EFI work queued for Linux 5.6 is cleaning up of the graphics output (EFI GOP) handling code within the EFI stub, refactoring the mixed mode handling in the x86 EFI stub, overhauling the x86 EFI boot/runtime code, better robustness out of the mixed mode code, support to disable DMA at the root port level, getting rid of RWX mappings in the EFI memory map and page tables where possible, and other fixes and clean-ups.

  • Clang 10 + Linux 5.6 Will Be Able To Build A Working s390 Kernel

    With LLVM Clang 9.0 and Linux 5.3 together it became possible to build the mainline Linux kernel with this non-GCC compiler. The x86_64 Linux kernel Clang-based kernel builds has continued to improve through newer kernel releases. This follows the mainline AArch64 (64-bit ARM) Linux kernel mainline build by Clang too, which has been of much interest by different hardware/software vendors. There hasn't been much Clang'ing kernel efforts for other architectures, but it turns out with Clang 10 and Linux 5.6 will be another working combination, this time for IBM s390.

    IBM System/390 interest in building the Linux kernel with Clang rather than GCC hasn't been on my radar until now when Clang 10 build support was just added to Linux 5.6 Git.

  • Btrfs Ready For Linux 5.6 With Async Discard For Better Efficiency + Performance

    Btrfs in the now-stable Linux 5.5 kernel is exciting for its new RAID1C3/RAID1C4 capability allowing three/four copies of data rather than just two while looking ahead to Linux 5.6 is further feature work on this Linux file-system.

    The big Btrfs item on the table with Linux 5.6 is async discard support developed by Facebook engineers and so solid-state drive TRIM/DISCARD support isn't done synchronously. This led to an efficiency improvement and lower read latencies when deploying the feature on Facebook servers.

USB4 Support Lands In The Linux 5.6 Kernel

  • USB4 Support Lands In The Linux 5.6 Kernel

    Ahead of USB4 devices expected to begin appearing later this year, the Linux 5.6 kernel is wired up with initial USB4 support.

    We were expecting USB4 in Linux 5.6 and indeed it has happened. It was just last September that the USB4 specification was published but allowing this Linux kernel enablement to come rather quickly is that it's based on Thunderbolt 3. This USB4 enablement for the Linux kernel is based in large part on the existing Thunderbolt Linux code.

  • Latest Changes in Linux 5.6

    • AMD Sensor Fusion Hub Driver Revved But Not On Tap For Linux 5.6

      Earlier this month AMD finally published their Sensor Fusion Hub driver for Linux to improve the Ryzen laptop support. That new "SFH" driver hasn't been queued as part of any Linux 5.6 pull request but a second version of the driver did make it out this week.

      The AMD Sensor Fusion Hub support has been long awaited and is needed for supporting the accelerometer/gyroscopic sensors on Ryzen laptops among other functionality. There have been requests for supporting the Sensor Fusion Hub on Linux going back to 2018.

    • Linux 5.6 Graphics Changes Bring Open-Source NVIDIA Turing, AMD Pollock Enablement

      The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) kernel driver updates were sent in today for Linux 5.6 with plenty of fun features in tow.

      Highlights of the open-source kernel graphics driver changes for Linux 5.6 consist of:

      - Nouveau Turing GeForce RTX 2000 series support albeit required on binary firmware images not yet published by NVIDIA. Beyond that, still no re-clocking support so the performance is quite slow. TU10x GPUs are supported and not yet TU11x.

    • Staging Changes Lighten The Linux 5.6 Kernel By More Than Thirty Thousand Lines

      With Linux 5.6 the staging area has seen new functionality but thanks to removing old code it ends up removing a fair number of lines of code from the kernel.

      The Linux 5.6 staging pull is adding just under eight thousand lines of code but deleting 40,990 lines. The lightening the kernel by 30k+ lines of code comes from dropping some old Cavium Octeon drivers, dropping a number of old ISDN components, and other clean-ups.

    More additions and improvements in Linux 5.6

    • EXT4 Gets Performance Work While XFS Gets 32-Bit Fixes For Linux 5.6

      File-system / storage activity is as busy as always during the Linux kernel merge windows.

      EXT4 changes this cycle include performance work in the inode locking code in the read/write paths, performance work for Direct I/O overwrites in boosting workloads like databases and other Direct I/O optimizations, and general code clean-ups and enhancements.

      XFS meanwhile has seen the removal of the last of their 32-bit timestamp code as well as memory corruption fixes affecting 32-bit platforms. There are also a variety of other fixes for XFS with this initial pull request while a secondary round of updates is expected next week.

    • pidfd_getfd Lands In Linux 5.6 With Use-Cases From LXD To Web Browsers

      In addition to the new openat2() system call in Linux 5.6, pidfd_getfd() has landed with growing interest from many different parties for what will be an increasingly used syscall moving forward.

      The pidfd_getfd() system call provides a straight-forward and easy means of accessing file descriptors from other processes via pidfd. It's been possible to access file descriptors from other processes on existing Linux kernels but via messy ways causing unnecessary complications.

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