Linux 4.21 Is Sure To Be Another Exciting Kernel Upgrade: FreeSync, Adiantum & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 2 December 2018 at 07:49 AM EST. 14 Comments
There is still four weeks or so until the Linux 4.20 kernel will be officially christened, but there are already some changes we are excited for that should be on the table with Linux 4.21.

Among the feature work we've been tracking so far for Linux 4.21, most of which is already queued in the respective "-next" branches, include:

- AMD FreeSync support as easily the most sought after feature by Radeon Linux GPU users in recent years... While the open-source AMD Radeon stack has largely reached parity with the Windows driver, Adaptive-Sync/FreeSync/VRR support was one of the last major features. This is queued for the 4.21 by way of DRM-Next.

- The new Aquantia AQtion USB to 2.5G/5G Ethernet driver for next-gen USB wired networking dongles. Let 2019 be the year that 2.5Gb / 5Gb Ethernet hardware finally begins replacing Gigabit!

- Adiantum crypto support as the Google-developed alternative to using the controversial Speck cipher for data encryption on future low-end Android Go devices.

- There is also the Streebog crypto support for this hashing function developed by the Russian government.

- Improved mainline support for the Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs with new drivers being introduced.

- Tegra194 Xavier display support.

- Improvements to the Allwinner Cedrus video decode driver.

- Various Intel DRM updates including the continued enablement work around Icelake.

- Cougar 700K gaming keyboard support.

- Polaris 12 and Vega 12 AMDKFD compute support.

- The Vega 20 GPU support should be in better shape with AMDGPU.

- Not queued yet but we are still hopeful that Linux 4.21 will deliver on the WireGuard secure VPN tunnel support.

What else are you hoping will make the cut for Linux 4.21? Let us know! The Linux 4.21 merge window should open up at the very end of December or in early January depending upon how the rest of the 4.20 cycle plays out.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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