Linux 5.6 Kernel Released With WireGuard, USB4, New AMD + Intel Hardware Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 29 March 2020 at 07:00 PM EDT. 2 Comments
Linus Torvalds just announced the release of the Linux 5.6 stable kernel a few minutes ago. This also means the Linux 5.7 merge window is now open for business.

The Linux kernel creator announced, "So I'll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing another -rc. This has a bit more changes than I'd like, but they are mostly from davem's networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It's just slightly more than I'd have preferred at this stage - not doesn't really seem worth delaying a release over."

See our Linux 5.6 feature overview for all the big changes in this kernel from WireGuard's long awaited introduction to initial USB4 support to various new Intel, AMD, and Arm hardware enablement. This weekend I also penned a shorter the best features of Linux 5.6 if you are short on time.

Linux 5.7 is now open for landing of new feature work for the next two weeks. Linus did openly express curiosity over how the ongoing COVID19 / coronavirus pandemic will impact the merge window. He noted in the 5.6 announcement, "And while I haven't really seen any real sign of kernel development being impacted by all the coronavirus activity - I suspect a lot of us work from home even normally, and my daughter laughed at me and called me a "social distancing champ" the other day - it may be worth just mentioning: I think we're all reading the news and slightly distracted. I'm currently going by the assumption that we'll have a fairly normal 5.7 release, and there doesn't seem to be any signs saying otherwise, but hey, people may have better-than-usual reasons for missing the merge window. Let me know if you know of some subsystem that ends up being affected."

On the Linux 5.7 front for that kernel that should debut as stable in June, we've been monitoring some of the many changes anticipated for Linux 5.7.

More Linux 5.6 benchmarks should be coming up on Phoronix in the days ahead.
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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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