Linux 6.3-rc2 Released With Two AMD Workarounds, Drops The Useless r8188eu Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 13 March 2023 at 12:00 AM EDT. 3 Comments
The Linux 6.3-rc2 kernel is out today as the second weekly kernel test release since last weekend's closure of the Linux 6.3 merge window.

Of note with Linux 6.3-rc2 are two AMD workarounds: avoiding the hardware random number generator for select fTPM versions due to a known system "stutter" issue and disabling XSAVES for Zen 1 and Zen 2 CPUs since when running on outdated CPU microcode there can be an issue of XMM register values reverting to their prior state. Both issues have since been addressed with updated AMD CPU microcode/firmware while those workarounds are now available to help those affected by these issues otherwise.

Also notable with Linux 6.3-rc2 is that the staging "r8188eu" driver has been removed. This is due to the mainline rtl8xxxu wireless driver having support now for all hardware previously supported by the r8188eu that was of subpar staging quality. With the rtl8xxxu supporting more hardware and being of better quality, it was time now to just delete r8188eu. Dropping that staging driver lessened the Linux 6.3 kernel by 51.2k lines of code.

Linux 6.3-rc2

Linus Torvalds wrote in tonight's 6.3-rc2 announcement:
"This one looks fairly normal, although if you look at the diffs, they are dominated by the removal of a staging driver (r8188eu) that has been superceded by a proper driver. That removal itself is 90% of the diffs.

But if you filter that out, it all looks normal. Still more than two thirds in drivers, but hey, that's pretty normal. It's mostly gpu and networking as usual, but there's various other driver fixes in there too.

Outside of that regular driver noise (and the unusual driver removal noise) it's a little bit of everything: core networking, arch fixes, documentation, filesystems (btrfs, xfs, and ext4, but also some core vfs fixes). And io_uring and some tooling."

See my Linux 6.3 feature list for a look at all of the prominent changes coming in this next kernel version. Linux 6.3 stable should be out in late April or early May.
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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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