Linux 5.5 Cycle Kicks Off Next Week With Exciting Changes On Tap

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 22 November 2019 at 01:23 PM EST. Add A Comment
The Linux 5.4 kernel is to be released on Sunday and that will in turn kick-off the Linux 5.5 merge window. Here is a look at some of the changes on the table for what will in turn be the first major stable kernel release of 2020.

Among the changes we have been monitoring via the various "-next" trees ahead of the formal opening of the Linux 5.5 merge window include:

- Linux 5.5 live-patching will track system state for better handling of patches.

- A System76 ACPI driver for their new Coreboot-enabled laptops.

- Intel HMEM DAX driver is new for dealing with hardware like Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory.

- Mainline support for the outdated SGI Octane MIPS workstations.

- Continued enablement of Tiger Lake / Gen12 graphics as well as Jasper Lake graphics support. There is also 12 BPC color support, HDCP updates, and other changes for the Intel driver.

- Along with the other Intel Gen12 graphics work is some early bits on Intel Xe Multi-GPU preparations.

- AMD OverDrive overclocking support for Navi GPUs is finally coming.

- AMDGPU HDCP support for this controversial content protection capability.

- More Arcturus GPU code for that unreleased Radeon Pro product. Also AMDGPU fixes around power management, Navi, and other Radeon graphics bits.

- Adreno 510 support within the MSM DRM driver.

- Better power savings for hybrid laptops with Intel graphics and a discrete NVIDIA GPU.

- Intel Speed Select Tool updates.

- NVMe drive temperatures to be reported via HWMON/sysfs!

- Better EXT4 encryption handling in that the FSCRYPT-based encryption now works when the block size is smaller than the system's page size. Also coming with EXT4 is a new direct I/O read implementation.

- FSCRYPT inline encryption support.

- Thunderbolt 3 software connection manager support for benefiting Apple systems.

- Linux 5.5's crypto subsystem finally replaces the async block cipher API with SKCIPHER usage.

- NVIDIA DP MST audio support.

- An Intel Ice Lake power management improvement.

- After being ejected from Linux 5.4, the VirtualBox Shared Folder driver might be re-introduced.

- Huawei laptop support improvements.

- For Zen 2 CPUs the new RDPRU instruction will be advertised in /proc/cpuinfo.

- A new WFX WiFi driver for Silicon Labs' low-power IoT hardware.

- A new Logitech keyboard driver.

That is just the Linux 5.5 material we have been tracking so far. Stay tuned for more Linux 5.5 kernel coverage when the merges begin on Monday.
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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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