Linux 5.4 Cycle To Begin With exFAT Driver, EPYC Improvements & New GPU Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 15 September 2019 at 11:08 AM EDT. 4 Comments
The Linux 5.3 kernel is expected to be released as stable today and that will mark the opening of the two-week Linux 5.4 merge window. Here is a look ahead at some of the material expected to make it into this next version of the Linux kernel that will also be the last major stable release of 2019.

The Linux 5.3 features are aplenty while always the N+1 kernel release looks even more exciting. Some of the material we've been tracking that is likely to be merged for Linux 5.4 includes:

- Finally there will be mainline exFAT support for that Microsoft file-system with it finally being blessed to be supported under Linux/open-source. The exFAT driver still has a lot of improvements to go (the current code quality has been called horrible) but is already making progress within staging.

- Cleaning up of Intel CPU naming conventions within the kernel code.

- Early enablement work on Intel Tigerlake "Gen 12" Xe graphics. There is also continued polishing to the Gen 11 graphics support.

- Fixes to the open-source NVIDIA driver, Nouveau.

- Initial driver support for AMD Renoir APUs as well as Navi 12/14 and Arcturus GPU support are all being added to the AMDGPU kernel driver for Linux 5.4.

- Many AMDGPU fixes.

- Per-process address space support for the Etnaviv driver and other improvements for open-source Vivante graphics.

- Initial bits for the Intel Lightning Mountain SoC.

- Deprecating Wireless USB and Ultra Wideband subsystems.

- Improved fscrypt file encryption handling.

- Kernel system wakeups are to be reported via sysfs.

- Dropping of older Intel XScale CPU support.

- RISC-V KVM support.

- Intel Icelake Thunderbolt support is finally ready.

- Support for Lenovo's ThinkPad PrivacyGuard screen protection feature as well as other x86 laptop driver improvements.

- Kernel Lockdown has been sent in after 40+ rounds of revisions/review though we'll see if Linus Torvalds is now content enough with it to honor the pull request where as previously it was rejected.

- VirtIO-FS is a new file-system driver being added.

- EROFS is graduating from staging for this read-only file-system developed by Huawei.

- Improved load balancing for AMD EPYC servers.

- AMD EPYC Rome EDAC support.

- Faster case-insensitive look-ups for F2FS.

- The SGI One-Wire driver is being added for helping SGI hardware going back to the Origin.

- Lenovo Yoga C630 laptop support in the form of the necessary DeviceTree additions.

- Meanwhile buttons on the newer Microsoft Surface laptops will finally be supported.

- k10temp support for Ryzen 3000 series CPUs.

- ASpeed AST2600 series support for that yet to be released server management processor / BMC.

Stay tuned for more information on the Linux 5.4 cycle and subsequent benchmarks in the days/weeks ahead on Phoronix.
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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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