Linux 6.0 arrives with support for newer chips, core fixes, and oddities

Enlarge / And there was much rejoicing, as a new version of the Linux kernel had arrived before its founder ran out of fingers and toes to count.

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A The stable version of Linux 6.0 is out, with 15,000 unmerged commits and a notable version number for the kernel. And while major Linux releases only happen when the previous issue’s point numbers start to look too big—”there is literally no other reason“—There are many notable things included in this release besides a time stamp.

The most notable among them might be a patch that prevents a nearly two-decade slowdown for AMD chips, based on a code workaround for power management in the early 2000s that has been around for far too long. Intel’s Dave Hansen wrote the patch that made it 6.0, noting in a comment on an Ars post that the problem had become a costly expense as AMD systems increased the number of CPU cores. The average desktop user won’t see huge gains, but larger systems running I/O intensive applications should benefit.

Intel’s new Arc GPUs they are supported in their discrete laptop form in 6.0 (although still experimental). The Linux Phoronix blog notes that all of Intel’s ARC GPUs seem run on open source upstream controllersso support for future Intel cards and chipsets should appear as they hit the market.

Linux 6.0 includes several notable hardware drivers: 4th generation Intel Xeon server chips, the not quite 13th Gen Raptor Lake and Meteor Lake chips, AMD RDNA 3 GPUs, Threadripper CPUs, EPYC systems, and audio drivers for several newer AMD systems.

A quirky little addition points to bigger things going on inside Linux. Lenovo ThinkPad X13, based on an ARM-powered Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, get initial support in 6.0. ARM support is something Linux founder Linus Torvalds is eager to see: he recently wrote release notes for Linux kernel versions. your MacBook Air with M2 engine and believes that more people using Linux on ARM devices lead to more bug reports, more patches, and more excitement.

Among other changes you can find in Linux 6.0, compiled by LWN.net (at part One Y the second part):

  • ACPI and power management improvements for Sapphire Rapids CPUs
  • Support for SMB3 file transfer within Samba, while SMB1 is further deprecated
  • more work on RISC-VOpenRISC and LoongArch technologies
  • Support for Intel Habana Labs Gaudi2, which enables hardware acceleration for machine learning libraries
  • A “guest vCPU crash detector” that can tell a host when a virtual client is frozen

Improvements to Rust are not included in 6.0, but are likely to arrive in the next version, 6.1. Rust, a memory-safe language sponsored by the Mozilla projectstarted as something Torvalds took a wait-and-see approach to and now is something that he was waiting to see in 6.0. “Unless something weird happens, it will become 6.1”, Torvalds told ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols in mid-September. Even having the “core framework” for Rust in 6.1 means a big change for Linux, which has long been dominated by the C languages ​​(albeit extended and modified).

It should be noted that in 2022, there are patches in Linux 6.0 to help Atari Falcon computers since the early 1990s (or their emulated descendants) better handle VGA modes, color, and other issues.

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