Many Networking Improvements Routed To The Linux 5.12 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 18 February 2021 at 06:29 AM EST. 2 Comments
David Miller sent in the big batch of networking improvements today for the ongoing Linux 5.12 merge window.

As usual with Linux being widely used on enterprise networking equipment and hardware vendors being especially concerned about driver support with high-end hardware commonly running Linux in the data center, the networking subsystem updates are quite extensive and varied. Among the many networking changes landing with Linux 5.12 include:

- RFC6056 "Recommendations for Transport-Protocol Port Randomization" is now implemented for better port randomization. "This document describes a number of simple and efficient methods for the selection of the client port number, such that the possibility of an attacker guessing the exact value is reduced. While this is not a replacement for cryptographic methods for protecting the transport-protocol instance, the aforementioned port selection algorithms provide improved security with very little effort and without any key management overhead."

- The Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware "DASH" support has been added to the Realtek R8169 driver. Realtek has been supporting DASH on Windows for a decade already while it looks like their Linux support with the R8169 driver is now coming together. "DASH (Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware) is a suite of specifications based on the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force) web services-based standard. The DASH Initiative strives to promote the DASH standard in the industry and enable vendors to implement compliant, interoperable DASH solutions. DASH compliant products, e.g., Chipset + NIC + BIOS, from different vendors will operate together to enable secure, in-band, out-of-band, and remote management of desktop and mobile systems via web-based tools based on the standard DASH SDK. "

- Atomic operations for eBPF are now supported.

- Support for various PHYs such as BCM72116 and KS8851.

- Support for the Broadcom BCM4908 integrated switch. The Broadcom BCM4908 which is a quad-core ARMv8 SoC designed for enterprise wireless access point usage.

- Support for new Intel hardware with the IWLWIFI driver. New Intel WiFi device PCI IDs were added to the "So" and "Qu" families. There also continues to be other IWLWIFI driver improvements too.

- Support for the Intel "Garfield Peak" Bluetooth controller.

- Various offload improvements.

The networking feature updates for Linux 5.12 are outlined via the PR.
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