Intel Gale Peak, New BPF Features & Other Networking Changes For Linux 6.6

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 29 August 2023 at 11:55 AM EDT. 1 Comment
The big set of Linux networking subsystem updates were sent out today for the recently-started Linux 6.6 kernel merge window. There are a number of core networking improvements this cycle, support for various new wired and wireless chipsets, and improvements made to existing Ethernet and WiFi drivers.

Each kernel cycle the Linux networking updates tend to be quite heavy given the diverse range of Linux use-cases from embedded and mobile hardware up through high-speed networking infrastructure and hyperscaler servers. With Linux 6.6 it's no different with the networking changes once again coming on heavy:

- Support for BPF-based MPTCP (Multi-Patch TCP) packet schedulers.

- Various BPF improvements including multi-buffer support in AF_XDP, multiple uprobe BPF links for attaching multiple uprobes and USDT probes, support for defragmenting IPv4/IPv6 packets in BPF, and other new features.

- In-kernel support for the TLS alert protocol.

- New Ethernet hardware supported with Linux 6.6 include the Broadcom ASP 2.0 72165 controller, MediaTek MT7988 SoC, TI AM654 SoC, TI IEP, Atheros QCA8081 PHY. Marvell 88Q2110 PHY, and the NXP TJA1120 PHY.

- New WiFi hardware support with Linux 6.6 includes the MediaTek MT7981 chipset.

- On the Bluetooth side Linux 6.6 adds support for Intel Gale Peak as well as Qualcomm WCN3988 and WCN7850, NXP AW693 and IW624, and the MediaTek MT2925.

- THe Qualcomm Ath12k WiFi 7 driver now supports Extremely High Throughput (EHT) PHY support.

- The RealTek rtl8xxxu WiFi driver now supports AP mode on the RTL8192FU, RTL8710BU (RTL8188GU), RTL8192EU, and RTL8723BU.

The networking subsystem updates in full for Linux 6.6 can be found via this pull request.

While not directly related to this networking pull, the parisc architecture updates for Linux 6.6 have added a native eBPF JIT compiler for 32-bit and 64-bit kernel builds as another step forward in the (e)BPF world.
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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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