Linux doesn’t get frequent substantial updates and has a low number of patches compared to Windows. But finally, Linux is moving to version 5.6, and the 5.6-rc1 BETA has launched for testing. With the new update, Linux has improved its overall support bringing in tons of features and bug fixes.
AMD and Intel Hardware Update:
A blog post posted on the site Phoronix listed down some significant upgrades and key features upcoming in the new Linux 5.6 update. Updates from open-source Nvidia RTX support, AMD Pollock support, Intel’s Gen 11 and Gen 12 graphics improvement, and many more.
Linux finally has added support for Zen 3 AMD CPUs. No information regarding confidential CPUs has been released, for now, only supports have been added. The confidential CPU might be Intel’s new Tiger Lake CPU, AMD’s 4000 series desktop CPU or even Intel’s upcoming 10nm desktop CPU. But this means the AMD CPUs are nearing their launch for the year 2020.
The new kernel update supports AMD GPU reset for the “Navi” and Upcoming “Renoir” APU. This allows users to reset their GPU when they encounter a problem. The uproaring problem regarding the AMD “k10temp” driver now has been fixed. Finally, the thermals and voltage on the Ryzen Hardware can be measured using the driver. That’s a sigh of relief for the Ryzen Hardware owners.
Asus users rocking the Ryzen hardware can rejoice as their laptop now will never overheat – due to previously unsupported drivers in the kernel, the laptop used to overheat thermal throttling the performance. The new driver has also improved performance for the new Gen 11 and Gen 12 Intel graphics. Newer Ice Lake CPU got better support and performance uplift in the Linux kernel. The Linux 5.6 supports the new Nvidia RTX 2000 series out of the box, removing the need to install a proprietary driver for the installed GPU. But more updates regarding GPU drives may come as Nvidia prepares to release RTX 3000 series GPU.
File-System Updates and General Changes:
With the new Linux on the way, there are tons of other feature updates regarding file system and kernel cleanups. File Systems like F2FS got experimental compression support, EXT4 performance fixes, and Zonefs file-system support for the Western Digital Hard drives. The btrfs (b-tree file system, file system based on the copy-on-write principle) supports Async DISCARD, improving efficiency and performance. The BFQ (Budget Fair Queueing I/O scheduler) had some bug fixes and improvement regarding the NVMe codes.
The Linux 5.6 address problem regarding the Year 2038 issue for all the 32-bit systems. This is a similar problem, like the Y2000 issue at the start of the millennium. Now, all the 32-bit systems will work beyond the Year 2038. A far-sighted fix by the developer.
Linux implemented support for USB 4. No news regarding the launch of the high-speed storage transfer solution has surfaced yet but, Linux will support USB 4 when they start appearing in the computing space. The Linux 5.6 continues to improve Logitech Input devices, staging clean saw removal of 30K+ codes from the Linux Kernel. The Clean saw most of the removal of older drivers.
The hardware updates regarding the Linux 5.6 makes it viable to use for gamers and mainstream users alike. The Linux distros will roll out the kernel update as soon as Linux 5.6 is fit for launch.
Linus Torvald, the creator of Linux, released a test version 5.6-rc1 for interested users. The stable version will release at the end of March or the start of April. These were some of the main updates for the new Linux 5.6; for further in-depth information about the Linux 5.6 update, check out the blog in Phoronix.