What is the Linux Kernel?
The Linux kernel is the primary interface between the computer’s hardware, and its processes. It is the core component of any Linux Operating System (OS). All Linux applications and servers use it. Linus Torvalds developed Linux in 1991 to be a free Operating System kernel. It is also used by other free software projects like the GNU Operating System. The Linux kernel is used by thousands of open-source developers around the globe. With 23 million lines of code, the Linux kernel is one among the largest open-source software projects in the world.
What’s new in Kernel 5.12
Linux Kernel 5.11 was a great release that supports new hardware.
Now, after more than two months of development and a week waiting for a release candidate version 8, Linux Kernel 5.12 has been released.
These updates cover a wide variety of areas including processor, storage and hardware support, power management technique. LTO support in Clang is provided, as well LZ4 mode support to the F2FS filesystem. The update supports the RISCV 64-bit architecture. It also supports non-uniform memories access (NUMA) systems. There are other driver improvements.
Linux 5.12 now supports KFENCE (Kernel Electric Fencing), a new memory debugging tool that enables the open-source ACRN hypervisor for embedded IoT, ID mapping in mounts and Dual Sense wireless gaming controllers on the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo 64.
Linux 5.12 supports eMMC inline encryption and Linux root support to Microsoft Hypervisor. It also offers best support for Microsoft devices.
Linux Kernel 5.12 is a great update that offers many useful features.
Linus Torvalds stated in his release announcement:
Here are the major changes to this release.
Linux Kernel 5.12 New Features
This Kernel supports the Intel eASIC N5X Device
Support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 8888 5G Mobile platform
Support NetGear R8000P Nighthawk WiFi router
Support Lenovo Laptop Platform Profile
Microsoft Surface devices should work properly and be optimized
This Kernel stopped supporting many old ARM CPUs
Intel Rocker Lake and Tigerlake GPU Updates
Radeon GPUs with half-precision FP16 pixel support will be more popular
Radeon RX6800/6900 series supports overclocking
Mainline Kernel now supports Tiger Lake products
Allow freesync in A+A configurations
Support for Sienna Cichild’s overdrive
GPU reset for navy flounder/vangogh
Add Missing Sienna Cichlid DID
Add a new device ID for Renior
HDR enabled on Gen9 devices based on MCA LSPCON
Add support for Intel’s eDP Backlight Controls
Allow the sysadmin access to security mitigations
Gen7 per-engine-reset support
As with every Kernel version, the various file systems have more fixes and performance improvements.
Performance improvements can be seen in XFS or Btrfs
ibmvfc: initial MQ development/enablement
ibmvfc MQ preparatory locking work
lpfc – Implement health checking for I/O aborting
scsi_transport_fc – Add store capability to rport sysfs port_state
Drop gdth driver
PlayStation 5 Controller Drive
Although the release of Sony’s open source controller driver was delayed previously, it has been added to the Linux 5.12 kernel. Sony has pledged to maintain the open-source controller driver, not just as a temporary addition. If you are interested in the DualSense PlayStation 5 Controller, now’s the time.
Other major improvements in this release include:
AMD FreeSync HDMI Support
Intel Adaptive-Sync For Xe Graphics
OverDrive Overclocking Radeon 4000 Series
Improvements to the exFAT Filesystem
Logitech peripherals now have improved battery reporting
Linux Kernel 5.12 installation
1. Before installing kernel 5.12, ensure your system is up-to-date with sudo apt update and sudo apt upgrade