Linux 5.14 Features From Secret Memory Areas To New Hardware, Core Scheduling, Legacy IDE Dropped
With last night's release of Linux 5.14-rc1 the merge window is officially over for this next version of the Linux kernel. With that, here is a look at the highlights for the forthcoming Linux 5.14 kernel based upon our original reporting during the merge window.
Linux 5.14 was another busy cycle with seeing changes like a new tracer for operating system noise, memfd_secret for allowing secret memory areas on the system, many CPU/architecture-related updates, core scheduling for allowing better security with Intel Hyper Threading, many open-source graphics driver improvements for Intel and AMD, removal of legacy IDE support, and much more. Here is the more exhaustive list of notable Linux 5.14 features:
- Core Scheduling has been merged for making HT/SMT safer to keep enabled primarily for cloud environments with the ability to have more control over what's run on a core's sibling thread around trusted/untrusted tasks.
- VirtIO-IOMMU support on x86 where as previously was just AArch64 support.
- More kernel features now supported on RISC-V like transparent hugepages and KFENCE.
- Preparing for more OpenRISC LiteX drivers to be upstreamed in the future.
Display / Graphics:
- AMD SFH support for light sensor and human presence detection with newer AMD Ryzen laptops.
- Many Habana Labs AI driver improvements for its Goya and Gaudi accelerators.
- Support for the SparkFun Qwiic joystick via a new driver as a ~$10 open-source joystick for DIY electronics.
- New sound hardware support from Alder Lake M to various other sound chips.
- More work on supporting CXL, Compute Express Link.