The Many New Features & Improvements Of The Linux 5.0 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 6 January 2019. Page 2 of 2. 4 Comments

Linux Storage / File-Systems

- Fscrypt Adiantum support for helping with fast data encryption on low-end hardware lacking native CPU extensions for accelerated crypto. This is Google's replacement to their prior plan of using NSA's Speck for low-end device data encryption.

- Minor FBDEV improvements and fixes.

- F2FS fixes now that Google is supporting the Flash-Friendly File-System on their Pixel devices.

- The Binderfs implementation for accessing Android's Binder inter-process communication mechanism from within containers.

- EXT4 fixes and XFS fixes.

- The Btrfs file-system restores support for swap files.


- Retpoline overhead reduction work to help offset some of the performance penalties introduced last year with the Spectre V2 mitigation.

- Realtek R8169 driver improvements.

- Aquantia AQtion USB to 2.5/5Gb Ethernet adapter support with a new driver.

- Other networking changes too but sadly WireGuard wasn't added.

Other Hardware

- Logitech High Resolution Scrolling support for more precise scroll wheel events on various Logitech mice.

- Cougar 700K gaming keyboard support.

- Raspberry Pi Touchscreen driver was finally merged.

- Better Thunderbolt protection against potentially malicious devices thanks to this new IOMMU work.

- ECC EDAC support for the Xilinx ZynqMP DDR controller.

- Various x86 laptop driver updates.

- AMD Audio Co-Processor 3.x support and other sound hardware updates.

- Cedrus video driver improvements for Allwinner SoCs.

- Mainline support for the Chameleon96 Intel FPGA board that is priced around $129 USD.


- Lots of tiny staging updates including work on the new EROFS file-system, MOST subsystem, continued VirtualBox video driver clean-ups, and other staging drivers.

- A lot of x86_64 KVM work including STIBP support, Processor Tracing virtualization, new Intel Icelake CPU instruction set extensions support, and other work.

- Various power management updates.

- The ARM Energy Model Framework was merged.

- A new console font for HiDPI and retina screens.

- The Adiantum and Streebog crypto algorithms were added. Adiantum is used now by fscrypt for the speedy data encryption while Streebog is a hashing function developed by the Russian FSB agency. There are also some crypto performance improvements too this cycle for existing implementations.

- DMA mapping updates to offset some Retpoline performance losses.

- Continued work preparing for Year 2038 with the Y2038 problem.

- Merging of the new I3C subsystem.

That's at least all of the interesting kernel work I spotted for Linux 5.0. If I missed anything, feel free to let me know via the forums or Twitter. It's certainly going to be a big kernel release! Stay tuned for Linux 5.0 kernel benchmarks beginning 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 TwitterLinkedIn,> or contacted via