Linux 6.6-rc1 Released With EEVDF, AMD DBC & Intel Shadow Stack But No Bcachefs

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 10 September 2023 at 08:00 PM EDT. 17 Comments
The Linux 6.6 merge window is over as the period by which new features and improvements are added to the kernel. Linux 6.6-rc1 is out the door as the kernel developers and testing community begin stabilizing this next major Linux kernel release. With Linux 6.6 there are many exciting feature additions but also one notable addition that once again didn't make the cut.

Linus Torvalds wrote in tonight's 6.6-rc1 announcement:
"All the stats for 6.6 look fairly normal so far - as always, the bulk of the patch is drivers (a bit of everything, but networking and gpu are the two biggest areas), with arch updates coming in as a notable second, and then we have tooling and documentation.

There's obviously core kernel updates too (filesystem updates, networking, core VM updates etc) but yeah, all the hardware support - whether drivers or CPUs - tends to just dwarf all the core changes in the diffstat.

And as always, there are way too many individual changes - or even developers - to list for the merge window. We've got 12k+ commits from 1700+ individual developers, And 800+ merges to tie it all together. All that is actually quite normal, this seems to be shaping up to be neither a very small nor a particularly large release."

Among the Linux 6.6 feature highlights are landing the EEVDF scheduler, workqueue changes to benefit AMD chiplet CPUs, experimenting with the DRM CI, KSMBD is no longer experimental, an HP BIOS settings driver, a Qt6 port of the kernel's make xconfig, new sound hardware support, Stadia controller rumble support, the Intel IVSC driver is added, AMD Dynamic Boost Control, ReiserFS declared obsolete, better protection against rogue behavior by NVIDIA's proprietary driver, and Intel Shadow Stack support is finally added. Those are the main highlights. I'll have my more exhaustive Linux 6.6 feature overview article published on Monday.

But for what notably didn't make Linux 6.6: the Bcachefs file-system was not included. We'll see if it's attempted once again come Linux 6.7 after some Linux-Net vetting any further upstream kernel discussions.

Linux 6.6-rc1 Git tag

The Linux 6.6 stable release will be out in late October or early November depending upon how the rest of the cycle plays out in terms of any nasty bugs/regressions.

Stay tuned for a number of interesting Linux 6.6 Git kernel benchmarks in the coming days... I've already been playing around with the Linux Git state on a few systems to interesting results.
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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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