Linux 5.12 Features Intel Xe VRR, Nintendo 64 Port + Clang LTO + Much More
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 28 February 2021. Page 2 of 2. 9 Comments


- Faster IO_uring and other improvements there.

- eMMC inline encryption is now wired up following the FSCRYPT inline encryption and other work that came prior cycles. The Qualcomm ICE (Inline Crypto Engine) is also working with this release.

- F2FS now supports a configurable Zstd/LZ4 compression ratio when mounting the file-system.

- Many XFS improvements.

- Performance improvements for Btrfs along with zoned storage work.

- exFAT can delete files faster in the "dirsync" mode.

Other Hardware:

- Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense controller was merged and being officially maintained by Sony.

- The Broadcom VK accelerator driver for their Valkyrie and Viper PCIe accelerators / offload engines is now mainlined.

- The NVMEM_RMEM driver is now merged for mapping reserved memory from firmware / co-processors into non-volatile membry devices that can be exposed to user-space.

- Compute Express Link 2.0 Type-3 Memory device support is the initial CXL 2.0 support in the kernel.

- Intel laptop hinge sensor driver was merged for also reporting a laptop's keyboard angle where supported.

- Sound support for Intel Alder Lake P.

- The Pioneer DJM-750 DJ mixer is supported by the kernel.

- Many networking improvements.

- Continued USB4 work as well as Security Level 5 support to disable PCIe tunneling.

- Voltage/temperature reporting for some ASRock motherboards.

- Improved battery reporting for some Logitech devices.


- IDMAPPED mounts were merged!

- The Linux kernel now has the ability to de-authorize Thunderbolt devices that were previously authorized.

- Integrity/IMA improvements from Microsoft.

- The Kernel Electric-Fence (KFence) was merged as an alternative to KASAN for lightweight memory safety error detection that is light enough to work for production kernel builds.

- AES-NI accelerator for CTS along with faster AES-NI XTS crypto performance for systems relying on Retpolines.


- Software-based audio jack injection support.

- Removal of OProfile support from the kernel with OProfile user-space having been using the kernel's Perf support instead, making the OProfile kernel code obsolete.

- Dynamic preemption has been submitted and allows one kernel build to support multiple preemption modes configured at boot-time.

- The kernel LED support has been hooked into the TTY layer.

- Instruction latency reporting for Perf when paired with a supported CPU, which for now is just Xeon Sapphire Rapids.

- RDMA now supports DMA-BUF for peer-to-peer transfers with GPUs.

- Exposing of ACPI Firmware Performance Data (FPDT) to user-space for those wanting to gain insight into hardware initialization / boot performance as well as during suspend/resume.

- Clang link-time optimizations (LTO) can now be applied to the kernel for both x86_64 and AArch64. This is useful for performance with LTO while also being needed to enable Clang's CFI support.

- Nintendo 64 support was mainlined following the new N64 Linux port published at the end of 2020... However, it's not very practical given the 4~8MB of RAM, among other complexities of a modern software stack for a game console from the late 90's. A Nintendo 64 game controller driver was also added for this port.

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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 or contacted via

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