Linux 6.6 Features Include The EEVDF Scheduler, Shadow Stack, Intel IVSC, AMD DBC & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 12 September 2023. Page 1 of 2. 5 Comments

With the Linux 6.6 merge window over, here's a look at the most interesting new features, hardware support, and other changes to find with this kernel that will debut as stable around the end of October.

Linux 6.6 is another exciting kernel from new software innovations to recent and upcoming hardware support. Among the top highlights for Linux 6.6 is the KSMBD in-kernel SMB3 server is deemed stable, new Nouveau user-space API for better supporting the NVK Vulkan driver in Mesa, Intel Shadow Stack finally crossed the finish line, the HP BIOS settings driver was merged, USB MIDI 2.0 gadget driver added, the "make xconfig" interface was ported to the Qt6 toolkit, removing references to the US NSA in the SELinux code, the Intel IVSC driver is added, and ReiserFS was finally declared "obsolete" and set for removal in 2025.

Linux 6.6


- The EEVDF scheduler was merged for replacing the CFS scheduler code.

- AMD Zen 5 temperature and EDAC support for the AMD Family 1Ah processors.

- AMD Dynamic Boost Control support is introduced.

- Avoiding unnecessary kernel panics on AMD Zen systems.

- Intel cluster scheduling was re-introduced for modern Core hybrid CPUs.

- Intel Shadow Stack finally merged for this CPU security feature with recent Intel/AMD CPUs that helps prevent ROP attacks.

- Workqueue updates that help out modern AMD CPUs and other systems that sport multiple L3 caches / last level caches.

- Per-CPU cgroup CPU usage stats are now properly tracked.

- Per-policy CPUFreq performance boost control rather than simply one control at the global level.

- AmpereOne core PMU perf events support.

- Perf events code Intel Grand Ridge and Sierra Forest.

- Several new LoongArch CPU features from new kernel bits enabled to working on the Loongson Binary Translation (LBT) support.

- New KVM virtualization features.

- Intel Sapphire Rapids PECI support.

- A micro-optimization for AMD CPUs without ERMS.

- The cpupower utility supports new AMD P-State features and there are also other power management updates.

- Partial SMT enablement that is useful for some processors like IBM POWER.

- Intel Agilex 5 FPGAs and Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 support.


- Better protecting against nefarious behavior by NVIDIA's proprietary driver.

- AMD FreeSync Panel Replay support as a new alternative tech to Panel Self Refresh for laptops.

- AMDGPU DC now builds on RISC-V for that driver display code.

- Continued Intel Meteor Lake graphics enablement.

- Nouveau uAPI additions for the NVK Vulkan driver.

- Initial support for the Intel Lunar Lake VPU4.

- The DRM CI for having in-tree continuous integration (CI) code for helping to facilitate testing of the Direct Rendering Manager code.

- Various other kernel graphics driver updates.

Linux Gaming:

- The widely-used XPad input driver supports more controllers.

- A rumble / force feedback driver for the Google Stadia controller connected via Bluetooth or WiFi.

- Support for other gaming peripherals like the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Xbox headset and battery reporting for the NVIDIA SHIELD controller.

- New sound support for AMD Van Gogh with SOF and also Valve "Galileo" support.

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