Linux 6.0: Linus Torvalds releases the new system kernel

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Initiator and chief developer Linus Torvalds has now officially released the final version of the latest free system kernel Linux 6.0 for everyone. In particular, numerous optimizations and driver packages for AMD GPUs are incorporated into the new operating system kernel.

Linux 6.0 supports new hardware

< p class="p text-width">As usual, the new Linux 6.0 kernel also supports the latest hardware. At the request of the community, the editors have therefore put together an overview of the most important innovations in this area.

Linux 6.0 extended hardware support

  • Initial support for AMD Raphael
  • Initial support for Intel Raptor Lake
  • Support for Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3
  • Extended support for Intel DG2 (“Alchemist”)
  • Improved NUMA balancing for AMD Zen
  • New enhancements for RISC-V CPUs
  • PCI support for OpenRISC CPUs

In addition, manufacturers and developers have started to work on support for Intel Meteor Lake and Ponte Vecchio as well as the RDNA 3 architecture of the Radeon RX 7000 series. However, support for the NEC VR4100 MIPS processors has been dropped.

As Linus Torvalds has now officially announced, the final release of Linux 6.0 has the following key data:

Linux 6.0

  • 800+ merge commits
  • 15,000+ files changed
  • 1,280,000+ insertions
  • 341,000+ deletions

A total of more than 1,700 developers were involved in the improvements that went into Linux 6.0, as Torvalds goes on to explain.

And, once again, this is one of those releases where you should not look at the diffstat too closely, because more than half of it is yet another AMD GPU register dump. And the Habanalabs Gaudi2 people want to play in that space too, but they don't reach quite the same lofty results that the AMD GPU people have become so famous for. I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

Linus Torvalds

About 60 percent of the changes are new and updated drivers for better hardware support, but there are also architectural improvements to the file system and various tools, as well as minor optimizations intended to provide a performance boost. However, some Chinese developers call the kernel Linux 5.20, which is not the official name.

As is hopefully clear to everybody, the major version number change is more about me running out of fingers and toes than it is about any big fundamental changes.

But of course there's a lot of various changes in 6.0 – we've got over 15k non-merge commits in there in total, after all, and as such 6.0 is one of the bigger releases at least in numbers of commits in a while.

Linus Torvalds

AMD P-state drivers don't make it into Linux 6.0

Although AMD has its revised P-state driver, the so-called “AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling Linux driver” already released in mid-August, the driver ultimately didn't make it into the Linux 6.0 release.

The driver is said to offer better power efficiency than the generic ACPI CPUFreq driver and is intended for Zen 2, Zen 3, Zen 3+ and Zen 4. Among other things, the Precision Boost and the performance under low loads are said to have been improved.

The patched P-state drivers will probably be included in Linux 6.1. The official announcement by Linus Torvalds provides more information.

Update 03.10.2022 13:20

Linux 6.1 introduces Rust as a second language

Linux 6.1, expected for early to mid-December, whose two-week window for submissions by Linus Torvalds also opened today, will, among other things, introduce the free programming language Rust alongside C as a second language under Linux .

In addition, the AMD Platform Management Framework (PMF) and the AMD PMF Cool and Quiet Framework are to be integrated into the new kernel.

More information can be found on the Phoronix website, which specializes in Linux and open source.