There Are Big Changes On The Horizon With Linux 5.12

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 14 February 2021 at 09:24 AM EST. 34 Comments
Linux 5.11 should be released today as stable but we'll see if 5.11-rc8 is decided instead given there has been an uptick in last minute changes for this kernel. This will mean either the Linux 5.12 merge window is kicking off at the end of today or could be pushed back by one week, but in whatever case there are many changes that have been queuing up for this next kernel version window.

Below is a look at various changes that have been placed in the respective system "-next" branches since the Linux 5.11 merge window. This material should ultimately be sent in for the Linux 5.12 merge window barring any last minute problems or objections from Linus Torvalds over code quality or the like. So here is a tentative look at the Linux 5.12 features slated to land for this next kernel version:

- IDMAPPED mounts has been requested for landing in Linux 5.12. Assuming Linus is okay with the code in its current state, IDMAPPED mounts open up many new possibilities as outlined in this weekend's article.

- Sony's DualSense PlayStation 5 controller driver is set to be merged for this official Sony open-source driver contribution for the new PS5 controller.

- Radeon RX 6000 series OverDrive overclocking.

- AMDGPU FreeSync HDMI support at long last for versions prior to HDMI 2.1.

- Nintendo 64 mainline support... Yep, Linux 5.12 can boot on the Nintendo 64 with a Flashkart albeit don't expect it to be too practical.

- A new driver for reporting Intel laptop hinge/keyboard angles.

- VRR / Adaptive-Sync for Intel Tiger Lake / Xe Graphics (Gen12). The VRR/Adaptive-Sync should now be ready on the latest Intel Gen12 graphics when using DisplayPort or eDP interfaces.

- The Nouveau DRM driver has continued preparations around NVIDIA Ampere support beyond just KMS along with other open-source NVIDIA driver updates.

- Continued Intel Gen7 graphics work stemming from iGPU Leak and support for disabling Intel graphics security mitigations.

- Voltage/temperature reporting for some ASRock motherboards is now working. Sad though that in 2021 the motherboard sensor reporting for desktop boards is still such a problem on Linux.

- MSM supports more Adreno GPUs and Speedbin functionality.

- Lenovo laptop platform profile support is an exciting contribution thanks to Lenovo.

- Lenovo IdeaPad support improvements.

- Intel Project ACRN Hypervisor code is getting upstreamed in part. The work is ongoing and the guest code previously landed but nice to see this IoT/embedded security focused hypervisor getting more code mainlined.

- IO_uring will be even faster.

- exFAT can delete files faster in the dirsync mode.

- Configurable compression level support for F2FS.

- Much faster AES-NI XTS performance with the AES-NI kernel driver for Intel/AMD CPUs needing Retpolines.

- Broadcom Valkyrie/Viper VK Accelerators support is coming via new a new driver for these PCI Express based accelerators.

- Software-based audio jack injection support.

- Improved battery reporting for select Logitech devices.

- Atomics support for eBPF.

- Phasing out of Intel MID support.

- USB4 Security Level 5 support.

- Support for deauthorizing Thunderbolt devices.

- Pioneer DJM-750 DJ Mixer support.

- Improved Microsoft Surface laptop support.

Linux 5.12 stable in turn should be out in May.
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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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