Linux 5.13 Features From Apple M1 To New GPU Support, Security Additions

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 9 May 2021 at 01:45 PM EDT. Page 1 of 2. 3 Comments.

Following the two week merge window, feature development on the Linux 5.13 kernel is slated to end today with the release of Linux 5.13-rc1. Here is a look at some of the most interesting new features and improvements for this kernel that in turn should debut as stable around the end of June.

Arguably most notable with Linux 5.13 is the introduction of basic Apple M1 SoC/platform support. But there are also many other exciting updates coming with Linux 5.13 like preliminary Intel Alder Lake S graphics support, AMDGPU FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync HDMI support, AMD Aldebaran accelerator support, a generic USB display driver for interesting innovative use-cases, Amazon Luna Game Controller support, a new Intel cooling driver to help with overheating issues, the Landlock security module was finally mainlined, Clang CFI is now available, and other security improvements as well as plenty of other new hardware support.

But with Linux 5.13 there still isn't any Rust language support in Linux 5.13 (though recently made it into Linux-Next at least for more widespread testing), the CIFSD daemon wasn't mainlined yet, still no breakthroughs in modern open-source NVIDIA GPU support in any reliable/performant form, and also nothing new to report on Bcachefs or other inititatives long-running outside of the kernel tree.

Here is a more exhaustive list of all the Linux 5.13 changes that I have found worth mentioning out of my original monitoring and reporting of the 5.13 merge window the past two weeks and prior to that of the various feature work that was accumulating in the respective "-next" branches.


- Initial support for the Apple M1 SoC and Apple's 2020 hardware platforms is now available in early form. However, the accelerated graphics and more refined support is still being worked on with just the initial code push making it for Linux 5.13 and expect it to be improved upon over coming kernel cycles.

- Concurrent TLB flushing support for some minor performance benefits.

- The AMD Energy driver was sadly removed with no upstream replacement/alternative in the kernel for now.

- An Intel cooling driver to downclock your CPU at a lower temperature threshold than the default.

- Fixed AMD Zen support for Turbostat.

- Perf is preparing for Intel Alder Lake and added new AMD Zen 3 events too.

- Many RISC-V improvements.

- Loongson 2K1000 support.

- PowerPC with 32-bit now supports eBPF and KFENCE.

- Microsoft preparing 64-bit ARM Hyper-V guest support.

- KVM brings AMD SEV improvements and Intel SGX for guest VMs.

- AMD Crypto Co-Processor support for the Green Sardine APUs.

- Intel bus lock detection support was added on top of the existing split-lock detection support.

- KCPUID is a new utility in-tree for helping bring up new x86 CPUs.


- Intel Alder Lake S graphics support was merged in preliminary form.

- Continued prepping for Intel discrete graphics support.

- AMDGPU FreeSync HDMI support has made it for pre-HDMI 2.1 coverage where as up to now the FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync support was limited to DisplayPort.

- Initial support for the AMD Aldebaran accelerator hardware.

- Generic USB display driver was added for setups like using a Raspberry Pi Zero as a display adapter.

- Intel DG1 Platform Monitoring Technology / Telemetry support.

- The POWER9 NVLink 2.0 driver has been removed for lack of open-source user support.

- Other Direct Rendering Manager driver updates.

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