Linux 5.16 Networking Changes Are Quite Busy From New Drivers To Intel 100G Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 2 November 2021 at 06:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Given the wide range of hardware running Linux and especially Linux being dominant in the data center, the networking changes each kernel cycle remain quite vibrant. Linux 5.16 is no exception with the main feature pull sent in on Monday for all the networking updates.

One of the new drivers this cycle is the Realtek RTW89 WiFi driver for supporting the Realtek 8852AE 802.11ax adapters and future models.

Another new network driver this cycle is the x88796c for ASIX AX88796C hardware. Meanwhile the Qualcomm QCA8k driver has added support for the QCA8328, among other smaller support additions to the existing network drivers.

Intel's 100G Ethernet driver code has added eswitch offload for the TC/OvS flow API, support for application device queues where Rx/Tx queues can be assigned to application threads, and other improvements.

The Mediatek MT7921 WiFi driver has added support for 6GHz WiFi, active state power management (ASPM), and other improvements.

The Bluetooth code has initial support for link quality and audio/codec offload support. Bluetooth driver support is also present now for Mediatek MT7922 and MT7921 SoCs.

Google's vNIC "GVE" driver has added support for jumbo frames, Rx page re-use, and other improvements.

The BPF code has seen a number of improvements, including a security change to now disallow unprivileged BPF by default.

The core networking code has added the notion of managed neighbor entries that are added by a control plane and resolved by the kernel for use with in-acceleration paths like XDP and BPF.

Other changes include ongoing improvements to Multi-Path TCP (MPTCP), the introduction of an Automatic Multicast Tunneling (AMT) driver based on the RFC7450 specification, and other enhancements.

More details on the many networking changes for Linux 5.16 via this pull request.
Related News
About The Author
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

Popular News This Week