The Big Set Of Networking Changes For Linux 5.14

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 30 June 2021 at 07:15 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Given the dominance of Linux-based devices from embedded/mobile (Android) through data centers and Linux powering all sorts of equipment, the networking subsystem updates for new Linux kernel merge windows continues to be very lively with new hardware support and never-ending improvements and new features.

With the Linux 5.14 merge window it's been another busy time for the networking portion of the kernel. Some of the networking changes to find with Linux 5.14 include:

- The Intel IOSM driver is added as the company's new M.2 modem driver.

- MikroTik 10G/25G NIC support.

- NVMeTCP offload bits.

- AF_XDP zero-copy for the Intel IGC driver.

- Preparations toward ultimately being able to support signed BPF programs in the kernel. The prep work in Linux 5.14 for BPF is around adding a syscall program type and libbpf support for generating instructions and bindings for in-kernel BPF loaders, which in turn can be purposed as a BPF loader for BPF.

- The core networking code now allows bypassing of the lockless qdisc for better performance. In a pktgen test the performance went up by 23% for one thread and 44% for two threads.

- Support for the Qualcomm MSM8998. On the Qualcomm front is also WiFi support for the QCN9074 and WCN6855 PCI devices.

- Mellanox BlueField Gigabit Ethernet support is in place for that control NIC of the DPU.

- Various 6GHz WiFi improvements.

- Continued work on Multi-Path TCP (MPTCP).

The lengthy list of networking changes for this next kernel version can be found at
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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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