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Linux 5.8: Biggest kernel update ever released

Linux chief, Linus Torvalds released Linux kernel 5.8 on August 2, 2020, set a new record being the biggest kernel update ever — with 17,595 commits and more than 800,000 new lines of code. So far, Version 4.9 had this title.

According to Torvalds, around 20 percent of all files in the kernel repository have been changed in the release of Linux 5.8. This corresponds to over 800,000 new lines of code. As a result, the kernel release 5.8 shows “more or less everywhere” changes. “Tons” of work had been invested in fundamental changes and “cleaning up” the kernel. A lot of work has also gone into the area of ​​file systems.

With the release of Linux 5.8, users of newer hardware can look forward to improved driver support. 

The new kernel offers extended support for the GPU of Intel’s Tiger Lake processors. Qualcomm Adreno 405, 640, and 650 graphics chips are provided with open source drivers. The AMDGPU driver is supported by “Trusted Memory Zones” for encrypted videos. And the AMD Radeon driver should avoid excessive heat or at least be able to handle it better.

On AMD’s Zen platforms, the energy sensors now work correctly with the system, and the temperature monitoring works with the Ryzen 4000. In the case of graphics chips, it will play a role in the future that the developers have now converted the core of the “Direct Rendering Manager” (DRM) to simplify drivers. 

The exFat driver, which was also improved again in 5.8, is under constant revision. The new kernel integrates security features for ARM64 systems that are intended to make life harder for attackers. The “Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer” is intended to improve security across all architectures. All innovations can be found in the release post.

Bhasker Das
Bhasker Das
Bhasker Das, with a master's in Cybersecurity, is a seasoned editor focusing on online security, privacy, and protection. When not decrypting the complexities of the cyber world, Anu indulges in his passion for chess, seeing parallels in strategy and foresight.

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