A new month and a brand new version of the Linux kernel is now available.
Linux 6.0 kicks off the 6.x series in pristine form, bringing an assortment of performance improvements, new hardware support, security fixes, and the usual handbag of filesystem changes to the forefront.
Announcing the release on the Linux kernel mailing list, Linus Torvalds said: “As I hope everyone will understand, the major version number change is more about my missing fingers and toes than any big fundamental changes.”
“But of course there are a lot of miscellaneous changes in 6.0 – we have over 15,000 total unmerged commits, after all, and as such 6.0 is one of the biggest releases at least in number of commits for a while.
For more details on what’s new in the Linux 6.0 kernel, read on.
Linux 6.0 Kernel Features
Benchmarking performed by Phoronix reveals significant performance improvements on Intel Xeon “Ice Lake”, AMD Ryzen “Threadripper”, and AMD EPYC processors due to scheduler changes and other core energy tweaks. Seeing Linux squeeze more power while using less energy is always welcome.
Linux 6.0 also provides mandatory future-proofing by laying the groundwork for whole swathes of hardware to come. This includes support for Intel’s fourth-generation “Sapphire Rapids” Xeon server chips and their 13th-generation “Raptor Lake” base chips.
AMD provides a core graphics driver for its RDNA 3 GPU, introduces a new audio driver for AMD “Raphael” platforms, and improves audio support for AMD “Jadeite” systems. Those who notice keyboard issues on a Ryzen 6000 series laptop should, if they are running Linux 6.0, find things work as expected again.
Both OpenRISC and LoongArc architectures support PCI buses, while RISC-V improves its cache block management capabilities using a number of new extensions, including the “Zicbom” extension. RISC-V also comes with a new default configuration capable of running Docker out of the box.
The (expensive) Lenovo ThinkPad X13s laptop running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 is starting to get support. The ThinkPad X13s comes preloaded with Windows 11 for ARM but, with Linux support currently in its infancy, it could be a great reference device for ARM Linux enthusiasts.
Speaking of laptops used by Linux enthusiasts, some TUXEDO computers and Clevo laptops had issues with touchpads and keyboard when resuming from suspend in earlier kernel versions. These are now fixed in Linux 6.0.
New hardware support includes the XP-PEN Deco L drawing tablet, a suite of sensors on AMD motherboards, including support for Sensor Fusion Hub on new Ryzen laptops, and working Thunderbolt on Intel Raptor Lake .
Ubuntu’s default filesystem remains ext4, so I wanted to mention that Linux 6.0 allows two new ioctl() operations: EXT4_IOC_GETFSUUID and EXT4_IC_SETFSUUID. These are used to get or set the UUID stored in a filesystem superblock.
Other miscellaneous changes in Linux 6.0 include:
- Core support for NVMe in-band authentication
- Execution Verification Subsystem
- Raspberry Pi 4 V3D Core Driver
- IO_uring Userspace Block Driver
- Buffered writes to XFS file systems
- V2 send protocol support for Btrfs
- H.265/HEVC API promoted stable
Plus, as you can imagine, a lot more. I recommend checking out the Phoronix Feature Overview for high-level information, or diving into the full LWN 1 Fusion Report and LWN 2 Fusion Report for more details.
Get Linux 6.0
Linux 6.0 is available for download as source code now, which you can compile by hand on the distribution of your choice? Not ready for this? Wait for your distro maintainer to package the half-graft instead. Some distributions (like Arch) release new kernel updates relatively quickly, but others (like Ubuntu) do not.
You can try Canonical’s main repository to install Linux 6.0 on Ubuntu-based distros (but keep in mind that they come with no warranty or support guarantee).
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