GNU Linux-libre 5.13-gnu Released For The Latest Kernel Deblobbing

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 28 June 2021 at 10:35 AM EDT. 30 Comments
Following yesterday's release of the Linux 5.13 kernel, the GNU folks have released GNU Linux-libre 5.13-gnu as their downstream that strips out support for loading binary-only firmware/microcode, blocks the ability to load binary-only kernel modules, and other sanitization work in the name of software freedom.

With the GNU Linux-libre 5.13-gnu kernel the deblobbing activities this cycle were summed up as: "Most of the changes in this cycle were on account of drivers moved (comedi) or removed (cyclades, isicom) upstream. A few new blob names were added to amdgpu, i915 csr, r8152, mhi bus, and x86 touchscreen drivers, and to qualcomm arm64 dts files, and btusb needed other adjustments to the cleaning up logic."

Unfortunately with an increasing number of hardware components, such as GPUs and many network adapters, the hardware is unusable without being able to load the proper firmware/microcode at run-time. Thus some of the new features to upstream Linux 5.13 like AMD Aldebaran enablement or AMD FreeSync HDMI support aren't relevant in the Linux-libre world or even the continued Alder Lake work due to GuC/HuC firmware, etc.

This new Linux-libre 5.13-gnu kernel release can be downloaded from
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