The Best Features Of Linux 5.2: Intel Bits, RTW88, Sound Open Firmware, EXT4 Insensitive

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 8 July 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT. 3 Comments
While back in May we provided a Linux 5.2 feature overview following the closure of its merge window, given Sunday's release of the Linux 5.2 Bobtail Squid kernel, if you've lost track of what there is to get excited about in this new kernel, this article is for you.

See that aforelinked article for a complete overview per-subsystem of all the notable changes to find in Linux 5.2. But if you just want a quick reminder of the most prominent user-facing changes, here is what there is with Linux 5.2:

- Intel Icelake/Gen11 graphics are now considered production-ready and no longer hidden behind a module parameter. This is in-step with Intel's OpenGL/Vulkan drivers also now considering Icelake to be ready to go.

- New Intel platforms were onboarded including Elkhart Lake and Comet Lake as well as work on their Agielx SoC/FPGA support.

- EXT4 now supports per-directory case-insensitive file/folder name support using Unicode. This is an opt-in feature and there is already Wine-Staging patches as one potential user to this new code.

- Better AMD Ryzen laptop support with the addition of the new PCIe MP2 driver.

- Support at long last for Intel Sound Open Firmware within the audio drivers. This open-source audio firmware initiative out of Intel continues to be quite promising.

- The new Realtek RTW88 WiFi driver that replaces RTLWIFI from staging. Realtek intends to continue improving this new RTW88 WLAN driver.

- Better support for Logitech wireless keyboards/mice.

- x86 FPU optimizations can be found for some potential performance benefits as well as various other minor performance optimizations from vmalloc to other areas.

See our Linux 5.2 feature overview for a complete overview and now onwards to Linux 5.3 tracking with its now-open merge window.
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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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