The new candidate version of Linux kernel 5.14 has been released: here’s what’s inside

Linux creator Linus Torvalds unveiled the first release candidate (RC) for version 5.14 of the Linux kernel on Sunday.

This version of the kernel has contributions from around 1650 developers. There were 11,859 file changes, nearly 82,000 insertions, and 285,485 deletions.

Torvalds expects this to be a “fairly regular release” compared to the larger 4.13 stable release at the end of June, which brought early support for Apple’s M1 Arm based processor.

“The last outing was important, but everything was pretty calm despite that, so size isn’t always the determining factor here”, he warned in the linux kernel mailing list.

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So far, most of the changes are related to kernel drivers, as well as GPU updates and network drivers.

Notes from the Phoronix Linux news site GPU updates also include improvements to Intel and AMD Radeon graphics drivers.

Other changes include “memfd_secret”, a new system call for creating secret memory areas. Additionally, Linux 5.14 is expected to have a low latency USB audio driver and several file system driver enhancements.

Torvalds said GPU headers and drivers made up a significant amount of the update, but said, “Outside of drivers there are all the usual suspects: architecture updates (arm , arm64, x86, powerpc, s390, along with a few other architecture updates too) and various kernel updates: networking, file systems, VM, schedule, etc.

Torvalds also highlights efforts to clean up Linux kernel code by removing support for legacy disk interfaces.

“What is a little less usual is that there are a lot of row deletions, the old IDE layer having finally met its long overdue demise, and all of our IDE support is now based on libata,” he said. Torvalds explained.

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“Of course, just because we’ve removed all that legacy IDE code doesn’t mean we’ve had an overall reduction in the number of lines: a few tens of thousands of lines of legacy code is nowhere near enough to balance the usual growth. of the kernel. But it’s always a good thing to see the cleansing. “

Linux 5.14 is expected to reach stability in late August or early September.

Update: The story previously referred to older Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) when it should have referred to legacy IDE disk interfaces.

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