Linux 5.16, the most recent and stable kernel, should be released today, bringing significant upgrades to kick off 2022 on a strong footing. Linux users and aficionados are ecstatic with this new version, and they’re even more ecstatic to see 5.17, the precursor to tomorrow’s kernel, which is expected to have some interesting new features.
The new 5.17 optimizations, improvements, and innovations begin multiple testing, ensuring the new kernel will be a significant improvement over Linux 5.16, as most of the Linux community knows.
Phoronix has continued to watch Git repositories and many Linux mailing lists for new features planned for the forthcoming Linux 5.17 release, which is scheduled for the end of March 2022. Not only will the latest update work with any of the most recent AMD and Intel hardware released in the last few months, but it will also include new improvements for the new Arm technology as seen in the Apple M1, network performance optimizations, newer inputs, and outputs, as well as several hardware drivers.
Some of the significant improvements and essential optimizations in Linux 5.17 have been listed by Phoronix. A lot of this is also susceptible to any changes or objections from Linus Torvalds, no matter how near to release.
- GPU/DRM driver updates: The new update offers initial Intel Raptor Lake-S enablement, Alder Lake-P graphics stability, optimization of the VC4 driver to deliver 4K resolution at 60Hz (especially when utilized in the Raspberry Pi platform), AMD Seamless Boot for any new hardware released, VRR and Adaptive-Sync capability for Intel 11th Gen Core Ice Lake graphics, and optimizations and enhancements for stability and compatibility with DG2/Intel Arc Alchemist discrete GPU processing.
- The new AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver: This new driver is debuting in the company’s Zen2 technology, along with newer systems, to help with more effective power efficiency than ACPI CPUFreq, which enables the OS to scale the processor’s frequency higher or lower to save power. These frequencies can be scaled automatically depending on the system load at the time, in response to the ACPI events, or manual adjustments made by userspace programs.
- AMD Smart Trace Buffering support.
- Ethernet support for AMD Yellow Carp and Rembrandt APUs.
- Temperature monitoring for AMD Zen 4 processors.
- Intel Alder Lake-N audio support.
- Several improvements on Intel Wi-Fi drivers.
- P-State updates for mobile Alder Lake processors.
- Intel PFRUT/Seamless Update support: This will allow for system firmware updates located on the servers to be processed without the need for rebooting the system. The process essentially offers support from the motherboard for the functionality utilizing ACPI Platform Firmware Runtime Updates, or PFRUT.
- NZXT lighting/fan controller and monitoring support through a new driver.
- EXT4 Get/Set Label ioctl support: This enables for online reading and setting of the file-system labels utilizing similar ioctls as F2FS/Btrfs/XFS.
- EXT4 will make the switch to the Linux newest API mount.
- FUSE adds an option for per-file DAX.
- Hantro driver VP9 video acceleration support: This affects Rockchip, Allwinner, and VeriSilicon System on Chips, or SoCs.
- Improvements for ThinkPad ACPI drivers, forcing discharge while also inhibiting charge.
- Customization support for managing fan curves with compatible ASUS ROG laptops.
- Optimizing support for several x86 Android-based tablets, utilizing a brand new driver for tablets experiencing glitching during operations.
- Updating support for certain NVIDIA Tegra-based tablets.
- Optimizing the Xen pvUSB front-end driver.
- Added support for Apple M1 Silicon.
- Systems not utilizing the system will get an added devtmpfs change to assist with those lacking the control.
- Support for NVIDIA Spectrum-4 network ASIC.
- Thermal and power management improvements for Intel’s Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controllers.
- RNG (Random Number Generator) enhancements, including the new usage of BLAKE2s over SHA1, along with several performance optimizations.
- Preparations for Arm Scalable Matrix Extensions, or SME, and the addition of Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) support for ARM64.
- New compiler releases will coincide with x86 straight-line speculation mitigation handling.
- CleanCache will be removed.
- Removal of instruction usage for AMD 3DNow! from the kernel.
- Fixing a bug in the Linux kernel floppy code, causing systems to stall when trying to read a malfunctioned floppy.
- Optimization in latency for AF_UNIX sockets.
- TCP Optimization on a much larger scale as well as several new network optimizations.
- Further optimization of several I/O.