Linux 5.9 Features New GPU Support To Numerous Security + Performance Optimizations
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 16 August 2020. Page 2 of 2. 11 Comments

Networking

- Mellanox VDPA driver for newer ConnectX devices. This is for Virtual Data Path Acceleration support.

- Ath11k now supports 6GHz WiFi.

- Xilinx EF100 network support.

- Many other Linux network driver updates.

Virtualization

- Removal of Xen 32-bit PV guest support.

- POWER10 virtualization support.

- Support for using Intel SERIALIZE within KVM guests.

Other

- Continued work on USB4.

- A new driver for the Corsair Commander Pro.

- Tightening up of writing to CPU MSRs from user-space and to be further restricted potentially moving forward.

- Support for building the Linux x86 32-bit kernel with Clang.

- The close_range system call has finally been introduced.

- Checkpoint/restore on unprivileged processes that can be used for use-cases like container migration, speeding up the JVM start-up, and more. Until now the kernel has just worked nicely around checkpoint/restore for processes running as root.

- Several drivers promoted out of staging including Speakup as a Linux console reader for the visually impaired.

- Various perf changes from Intel Architectural LBR support to Comet Lake uncore support.

- Device link details are exposed via sysfs.

- Sony-provided support for restricting DebugFS access by user-space.

- Faster probe/boot time thanks to HID improvements.

- The usual abundance of char/misc changes.

- Various scheduler improvements including the ability to change the default boost value for real-time workloads.

- A safeguard to prevent "shims" from using GPL-only symbols when being used by proprietary (non-GPL) drivers.

- A multi-color LED framework has been added thanks to Texas Instruments.

Linux 5.9 should be released as stable in October, sadly making it too late to find in the likes of Ubuntu 20.10 and others out-of-the-box. I'll be firing up more Linux 5.9 kernel benchmarks shortly on Phoronix.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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