Penguinistas, take heed. The kernel of your beloved OS has rung in the new year with a brand spanking new version number because… Linus felt like it.
Linux fans will be relieved to know that while 2019 should feature a gentler, softer and less sweary Torvalds, the man’s ability to make arbitrary decisions remains undiminished. The reason version 4.21 became 5.0 is because “I ran out of fingers and toes to count on.”
As Torvalds observed, there are a ton of changes in the new kernel with toys aplenty. Raspberry Pi fans get touchscreen support and there is the usual array of GPU and CPU enhancements, including some early support for Nvidia’s Turing GPUs, which will be of interest to those following CES 2019.
AMD has also seen some love in the form of tweaks to the handling of CPU microcode as well as the arrival of FreeSync, which synchronises the refresh rate of a compatible display to the frame rate of a similarly equipped Radeon card.
Not to be left out, work has continued on Intel’s Icelake graphics and, of course, ongoing mitigation for Spectre V2 and its ilk. NXP PowerPC processor received mitigation this time around while Linux’s networking subsystem has been tweaked to at least partially deal with the performance hit introduced in 2018 as a result of handling the Meltdown issue.
submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht