Intel 2.5G Ethernet On The Horizon With New "IGC" Driver; WireGuard Not In Net-Next
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 24 October 2018 at 05:50 AM EDT. Add A Comment
HARDWARE --
Overnight the networking subsystem changes were merged into the mainline kernel for the Linux 4.20~5.0. Sadly not part of this pull request is the much sought after WireGuard secure VPN tunnel but it does bring one of the other features we've been monitoring: the new Intel 2.5G Ethernet driver.

While WireGuard wasn't part of this net-next pull request, we'll see if it gets into a secondary pull request or is staved off entirely until Linux 4.21~5.1. WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld does believe it's ready for the mainline kernel.

Notably making it into this PR and already into the kernel is the new Intel "IGC" networking driver that provides support for 2.5G wired networking. The past number of months Intel's open-source crew has been working on the "Foxville" Linux driver for the I225 series hardware with 2.5G networking speeds.

Intel's plans for rolling out 2.5G Ethernet aren't immediately clear, but hopefully it won't be much longer now before new Intel motherboards are rolling out with 2.5G Ethernet to replace the long-used Gigabit Ethernet standard. One of the benefits of 2.5G is that existing CAT5E/CAT6 cabling can continue to function.

Other networking updates for this next Linux kernel release include better guest receive performance in the vhost driver, per-cgroup local storage for BPF, reference tracking was added to BPF, support for in-place encryption in TLS, a new "taprio" packet scheduler, byte queue limiting now works for the Realtek r8169 driver, and various other networking driver updates.

The complete list of networking changes for Linux 4.20/5.0 can be found here.
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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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