Just two weeks ago, the Linux kernel 5.10 reached the stable branch, and after its eventful release, the first patch 5.10.1 just two days later. However, the developers of this operating system do not rest even at Christmas, and before the end of the year, they wanted to close the development of the new version 5.11 of the Linux kernel. Thus, from today, this next update will enter the Release Candidate phase, being able to know what will be the main novelties that will arrive with it to the operating system.
The new Linux Kernel 5.11 will be the first major update of it in 2021, a new version that, like the previous ones, will be focused on improving the drivers of Intel, AMD and NVIDIA, as well as introducing some improvements and features to improve the general operation of computers, even with the latest hardware. In short, a more packed update with new drivers and file system improvements.
What’s New in the Linux 5.11 Kernel
The first changes that we are going to find in this new version of the kernel are related to the processors . In the case of Intel, for example, we can finally see the SGX enclaves, as well as a number of efficiency improvements and the enablement of the Intel Platform Monitoring Technology. In the case of AMD we can find support for S2idle, PowerCap and improvements for both Zen2 and Zen3. Of course, in the case of AMD we will lose control over Zen’s voltage. The OpenRISC, RISC-V and ARM architectures also receive their share of improvements.
Charts will also get their share of upgrades. In the case of AMD we will be able to see support for the Van Gogh and Green Sardine APUs, as well as a series of improvements for the Radeon RX 6800. Intel’s iGPUs have also received their share of improvements, adding support for Keem Bay, Integer Scaling, Big Joiner, and various asynchronous enhancements. Of course, multiple enhancements have been made to DRM systems.
The storage systems have also been greatly improved. BTRFS, F2FS, XFS, and of course, EXT4, have all received their share of performance improvements, stability, and bug fixes to ensure optimal performance. Support for SD Express cards has also been added.
Virtualization has also been improved in this new version of the kernel. Among other improvements, support has been added for VirtIO-MEM “Big Block Mode”, security improvements in Xen and in AMD SEV-ES. Wi-Fi has been another beneficiary, adding support for WiFi 6E, improvements in the Qualcomm Ath11k driver and acceleration of the ChaCha and AEGIS128 cryptography. On the other hand, WiMAX support has been marked to be removed if no user appears to use it.
Other important changes that we can find in the new Linux kernel are:
- USB4 and Thunderbolt enhancements.
- Sound support by Intel Alder Lake.
- Support for Guitar Hero Live PS3 and WiiU dongles.
- Better detection of the Lenovo ThinkPad.
- First lanes for PCI Express 6.0 support.
- Support for Corsair Power Supply.
- Support for new ASUS gaming laptop keyboards.
We can consult the complete and detailed list of changes in Phoronix .
Right now, the new version 5.11 is in Release Candidate 1 on the Kernel website . This means that you are just out of the development phase and there will still be many bugs and details to fix. Normally, Linux kernel versions usually go through 7 or 8 Release Candidates, when they are not more, so, although development is closed, there is still a long way to go before we can install it on our computers.
If all goes well, it is estimated that this new Kernel 5.11 will reach the stable phase around mid-February 2021. Of course, while the kernel debugging work is being carried out, work is already underway on what will be the Upcoming new features of version 5.12. And it is that the development of Linux does not stop a single day.