Last Sunday, the stable branch of the Linux operating system kernel was updated to version 5.8. As Linus Torvalds said, Linux 5.8 is “the biggest update in history.” However, it should be noted right away that, unlike previous releases, most of them may go unnoticed by ordinary users. In short, the 5.8 Linux kernel includes driver support, security enhancements, and many optimizations.
In total, the new version received 17 606 fixes from 2081 developers, affecting 20% of all files in the repository with the kernel code (in total, 16 180 files were changed, 1043 240 lines of code were added, 489 854 lines were removed). The patch size is 65 MB. By comparison, branch 5.7 had 15,033 patches with a patch size of 39MB.
Approximately 37% of changes in version 5.8 are related to device drivers, 16% are related to hardware architecture code updates, 11% are related to the network stack, 3% are related to file systems and 4% are related to internal kernel subsystems
Among the most significant changes in Linux 5.8 are the following:
Open source MSM driver update (Freedreno), added support for mobile Adreno 405, 640 and 650 GPUs (Snapdragon 855+ and Snapdragon 865) AMD Radeon driver added support for FP16 pixel format and implemented encrypted buffers in video memory ( TMZ, Trusted Memory Zone) .Added support for AMD Zen and Zen2 processor power sensors and AMD Ryzen 4000 Renoir temperature sensors, support for retrieving power consumption information via RAPL (Running Average Power Limit) interface for AMD Zen and Zen2. protection mechanisms against Specter lkz vulnerability for Intel processors. Added support for POWER10 – a family of superscalar symmetric multiprocessors based on the IBM POWER architecture, which will be released in 2021. Implemented support for new ARM boards and platforms – Renesas “RZ / G1H”, Realtek RTD1195, Realtek RTD1395 / RTD1619, Rockchips RK3326, AMLogic S905D, S905X3, S922XH, Olime x A20-OLinuXino-LIME-eMMC, Check Point L-50, Beacon i.MX8m-Mini, Qualcomm SDM660 / SDM630, Xnano X5 TV Box, Stinger96, Beaglebone-AI Boot Area Verification Support Added in EXFAT Preemptive Improvements loading of elements of the file system. Testing a slow 2TB USB drive showed a reduction in test execution time from 383 seconds to 51 seconds For Ext4 and XFS, support for DAX operations (direct file system access bypassing the page cache without using the block device level) is enabled for individual files and directories .Supports Thunderbolt ARM (USB 4.0)
A complete list of innovations, fixes and improvements can be found on the official website.
The Phoronix site keeps track of all detailed reports for all changes in Linux 5.8. Those interested can familiarize themselves with all the technical details at the link.
At the same time, the Free Software Foundation of Latin America created a version of the completely free 5.0 kernel, Linux-libre 5.8-gnu.
Source: kernelnewbies.org and lkml.org