Linux 5.19 Makes It Much Easier To Clear CPUID Features
Linux 5.19 Makes It Much Easier To Clear CPUID Features
6 Hours Ago - Linux Kernel - Allows Names - Add A Comment

The Linux x86/x86_64 kernel has long honored the "clearcpuid=" kernel parameter to disable select CPUID features from being used by the kernel or readily advertised. However, it hasn't been very intuitive to use since it relied on passing the bit numbers for the specific features. With Linux 5.19 it's much easier to deal with in now allowing the CPUID string from /proc/cpuinfo to be passed if wanting particular CPUID features disabled.

Amazon Graviton3 Benchmarks - Nice Performance Uplift With AWS EC2 C7g
Amazon Graviton3 Benchmarks - Nice Performance Uplift With AWS EC2 C7g
8 Hours Ago - Processors - 9 Comments

At the end of last year Amazon announced their new Graviton3 processors with around 25% more compute performance than their prior Graviton2 AArch64 processors, up to 2x the FP and crypto performance, DDR5 system memory support, and other improvements to their in-house processor for the AWS cloud. Yesterday the C7g instances reached general availability for making Graviton3 processors available to AWS customers. Here are some initial benchmarks.

Linux Continues Playing Catch Up To Windows For Desktop Hardware Monitoring Support
Linux Continues Playing Catch Up To Windows For Desktop Hardware Monitoring Support
9 Hours Ago - Hardware - Linux 5.19 Hardware Monitoring - 5 Comments

In recent kernel versions there has been an uptick in new driver activity around improving hardware sensor monitoring support for AMD/Intel desktop motherboards, but still it's generally behind that of the support found under Microsoft Windows. With Linux 5.19 there is more hardware monitoring "HWMON" subsystem work with improving sensor coverage on various motherboards and other components.

Intel SGX Enclaves Were Prone To Crashes On Linux Under Heavy Memory Pressure
Intel SGX Enclaves Were Prone To Crashes On Linux Under Heavy Memory Pressure
16 Hours Ago - Intel - Intel SGX For Linux 5.19 - 4 Comments

Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX) as security-related extensions to their processors that allow for protected memory enclaves has had a rather bouncy journey. Intel continues supporting SGX on their latest Xeon processors but on the client side have been deprecated since 11th Gen Core. Over the years SGX has been found vulnerable to various attacks from speculative execution exploits to Plundervolt. It also turns out under Linux until now was also open to crashing under memory pressure.

23 May

Linux 5.19 To "Make Life Miserable" In Slowing Down Bad Behaving Split-Lock Apps
Linux 5.19 To "Make Life Miserable" In Slowing Down Bad Behaving Split-Lock Apps
23 May 07:37 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Split-Lock Changes - 25 Comments

Back in 2020 Intel engineers working on the Linux kernel added split lock detection to provide a warning when an atomic operation spans multiple cache lines and requires a global bus lock for atomicity. A warning is now deemed not useful enough so instead the intent moving forward is to "make life miserable" for such misbehaving user-space applications by slowing down the performance with hopes of the app developers better handling their code.

PHP 8.2 Performance Continues Moving In The Right Direction
PHP 8.2 Performance Continues Moving In The Right Direction
23 May 03:00 PM EDT - Programming - Early PHP 8.2 Benchmarks - Add A Comment

If release trends hold, we should be roughly half-way through the PHP 8.2 development cycle with the annual feature releases normally out toward the end of November. Given that, this weekend I decided to try out the state of PHP 8.2 Git and carry out some early benchmarks to get an idea where things are headed.

Intel Trust Domain Extensions Ready For Linux 5.19 (Intel TDX)
Intel Trust Domain Extensions Ready For Linux 5.19 (Intel TDX)
23 May 09:00 AM EDT - Intel - Intel TDX - Add A Comment

Sent in this morning for Linux 5.19 is AMD SEV-SNP support for that hardware feature introduced last year with AMD EPYC Milan 7003 series processors. Meanwhile Intel's alternative technology, Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) is coming with Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" and also with Linux 5.19 that functionality is being readied on the software side.

AMD SEV-SNP Finally Being Merged In Linux 5.19 To Enhance Confidential Computing
AMD SEV-SNP Finally Being Merged In Linux 5.19 To Enhance Confidential Computing
23 May 07:12 AM EDT - AMD - AMD SEV-SNP - Add A Comment

Last year with the launch of AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors one of the new security features was SEV-SNP, or the "Secure Nested Paging" update to the Secure Encrypted Virtualization functionality that has built up with succeeding EPYC generations. While AMD published out-of-tree kernel patches in a GitHub repository to enable SEV-SNP and has been volleying several revisions to them on the kernel mailing list, one year later it's finally arriving in mainline with the Linux 5.19 kernel.

22 May

Linux 5.19 Will Be Super Exciting For Intel Customers, Many Other Features Expected
Linux 5.19 Will Be Super Exciting For Intel Customers, Many Other Features Expected
22 May 07:04 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Linux 5.19 Features - 5 Comments

Unless Linus Torvalds has reservations today about the changes to land in the kernel this past week and decides to issue an extra RC, Linux 5.18 is expected to be christened as stable today and that in turn will mark the start of the Linux 5.19 merge window. Based on the "-next" activity, here is a look at the many changes expected to be merged for Linux 5.19.

Radeon RADV Driver Readied For Vulkan's Upcoming Mesh Shading Extension
Radeon RADV Driver Readied For Vulkan's Upcoming Mesh Shading Extension
22 May 06:20 AM EDT - Valve - Cross-Vendor Mesh Shading - 10 Comments

As I've written about since last year the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been working on experimental mesh shader support and more recently in Mesa Git code around task shaders for RADV have been landing. Timur Kristóf who is contracted by Valve to work on the open-source Linux graphics stack has been working on the mesh/task shader support in preparation for an upcoming cross-vendor Vulkan extension around mesh shading.

Zhaoxin Tries Again To Upstream Their "LuJiaZui" CPU Support Within GCC
Zhaoxin Tries Again To Upstream Their "LuJiaZui" CPU Support Within GCC
22 May 04:36 AM EDT - GNU - Zhaoxin LuJiaZui - 4 Comments

Back in 2019 Chinese CPU company Zhaoxin introduced "LuJiaZui" as their 16nm x86 CPU design for use from laptops up through servers. LuJiaZui is much improved from their earlier chips though still well behind AMD and Intel performance. Proper GCC compiler support for LuJiaZui was sent out again this week after their previous upstreaming attempt hadn't made it into GCC 12 due to being late in the cycle.

21 May

20 May

Linux 5.18 Preparing For Release - Especially Heavy With Many Intel & AMD Changes
20 May 02:30 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Linux 5.18 - 1 Comment

It's been a fairly smooth week and Linus Torvalds is expected this Sunday to formally release the Linux 5.18 stable kernel. Unless he has any last minute reservations and decides to stretch it out an extra week, Linux 5.18 will be out as stable and with it comes a great deal of new features -- especially for benefiting AMD and Intel products from CPUs to GPUs.

AMDVLK 2022.Q2.2 Released As First Update In Over One Month
20 May 08:27 AM EDT - Radeon - AMDVLK 2022.Q2.2 - Add A Comment

While Mesa's RADV open-source Radeon Vulkan driver continues seeing a lot of activity on a near daily basis by developers from Valve, Red Hat, Google, and other independent contributors, AMD continues with AMDVLK as their official open-source Vulkan driver derived from their internal, closed-source Vulkan driver for Windows and Linux. Out today is AMDVLK 2022.Q2.2 as the latest open-source snapshot of this Vulkan driver.

Fedora BIOS Boot SIG Launched For Those Wanting To Maintain Legacy BIOS Support
20 May 07:10 AM EDT - Fedora - Fedora Legacy BIOS Support - 28 Comments

Fedora will keep around its legacy BIOS support that was decided earlier this month after a proposal to deprecate legacy BIOS support to focus resources on UEFI-only booting. However, Fedora will be relying more on the community to maintain that legacy boot support and as such the Fedora BIOS Boot SIG (Special Interest Group) is now established.

Ubuntu Desktop Exploring Microsoft Azure AD Integration
20 May 06:22 AM EDT - Ubuntu - Azure Active Directory - 7 Comments

Since Ubuntu 20.10 there has been Active Directory integration in the Ubiquity installer while now it looks like the latest effort by Canonical on enhancing the Ubuntu desktop for the enterprise is around Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) integration.

Linux Patches Updated For Better Power Management On AMX "Sapphire Rapids" Servers
20 May 05:54 AM EDT - Intel - AMX Handling - 2 Comments

While the kernel-side Intel AMX support landed in Linux 5.16 and KVM support for AMX in Linux 5.17, other Linux patches around Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) remain floating around. One important patch-set was updated this week for ensuring proper power management on AMX-enabled processors, coming with Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" this year.

Linux To Introduce The Ability To Set The Hostname Before Userspace Starts
20 May 12:00 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Linux Kernel hostname= - 23 Comments

While the hostname on Linux systems is widely relied upon for different applications, setting the hostname is usually left up to user-space by the init system at boot. However, should any user-space processes try to read the system hostname prior to it being set, it could lead to unintended results. So now finally in 2022 there is a kernel parameter working its way upstream with "hostname=" should you want to ensure the hostname is set before user-space is started.

19 May

Google Makes Public Their Open-Source PSP Security Protocol
19 May 01:40 PM EDT - Google - PSP Security - 16 Comments

Hearing "open-source", "PSP", and "security" all together got me excited with my initial reaction thinking it was about AMD's Platform Security Processor (PSP) albeit that's not the case here. Google's PSP announced today is the "PSP Security Protocol" and is designed for dealing with cryptographic hardware offloading at data center scale and used by Google already in production.

Upgraded Linux-Friendly Framework Laptop Shifts To Intel 12th Gen "Alder Lake"
19 May 01:24 PM EDT - Hardware - Framework Laptop - 31 Comments

The Framework Laptop is a modular laptop design that launched a year ago and is designed to be upgrade-friendly and allows users for switching out lots of components from different ports to the motherboard itself. And the laptop is Linux-friendly -- see my Framework Laptop review from last year. For new systems or those wishing to upgrade their laptop's motherboard, Intel Core 12th Gen "Alder Lake" is now available.

RADV Vulkan Driver Continues At Full-Speed Preparing For RDNA3/GFX11 GPUs
19 May 06:46 AM EDT - Radeon - RADV Vulkan - 6 Comments

Last week I wrote about how well known Mesa developer Samuel Pitoiset who is employed by Valve already started working on GFX11 (RDNA3) support for RADV, the open-source Radeon Vulkan driver in Mesa that isn't officially supported by AMD but remains more popular than their own "AMDVLK" driver. More GFX11/RDNA3 preparation work remains ongoing and it's looking like if trends continue this open-source driver could be ready for RDNA3 graphics cards in time for launch.

MGLRU Revved Once More For Promising Linux Performance Improvements
19 May 05:30 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Multi-Gen LRU v11 - 4 Comments

Multi-Gen LRU (MGLRU) remains a very promising effort for enhancing Linux system performance and particularly about providing a superior experience when the Linux kernel is dealing with system memory pressure. MGLRU v11 was posted this week while we await to see if it will be mainlined come the v5.19 merge window.

Linux FAT File Creation/Birth Time Reporting, Proposal For Statx I/O Alignment Info
19 May 05:02 AM EDT - Linux Storage - Statx Additions - 10 Comments

Back in 2017 for the Linux 4.11 kernel the statx system call was added for allowing enhanced file information reporting. Since then various file-systems began adding Statx support and worked its way up into Glibc and the like in user-space for Linux finally having file creation time reporting and other attributes. Two separate statx-related additions are now working their way to the kernel.

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