Linux 5.11-rc1 Released - Many New Features While Dominated By AMD Header Additions

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 27 December 2020 at 07:40 PM EST. 10 Comments
Linus Torvalds as expected released Linux 5.11-rc1 this evening, which marks the end of the two week merge window that went through Christmas.

Linus Torvalds noted in the 5.11-rc1 announcement, "Well, it's average, unless you look at the actual diffs, and notice another huge dump of AMD GPU descriptor header files, which completely dwarfs all the "real" changes here. The AMD "Van Gogh" include file additions are in fact about two thirds of the whole patch, even if it comes from basically one single commit that just adds the register definitions. We've had it before, I'm sure we'll see it in the future too: header files probably generated from the hardware description for all the possible bit masks etc get very very big. Oh well. If you ignore that area, everything else looks normal. Driver updates dominate, but all the usual other suspects are there: arch updates, filesystems, networking, docs and tooling."

That AMD Van Gogh APU support for the Linux kernel is around 275k lines of code most of which is the auto-generated header files. Due to the size of the auto-generated headers, AMDGPU is the largest driver in the Linux kernel and more than 10% of the kernel tree based on lines of code. Those numbers only continue rising higher with the new support continuing to be added.

There were around 12,500 changes merged over the past two weeks. See our Linux 5.11 feature overview to learn about the plethora of changes coming this cycle.

Linux 5.11 stable should be out in February. I've already been working on many Linux 5.11 kernel benchmarks and things are looking good besides the AMD performance regression with the Schedutil governor for Zen 2 and newer where frequency invariance data is now used... More tests and insight there in the next day or two as been hammering several systems with benchmarks and different configurations to try to improve the functionality.
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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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