Linus Torvalds announced today the release and general availability for download of the Linux 6.1 kernel series, which comes with new and updated drivers for better hardware support, new features, and many other changes.
More than two months in the works, Linux kernel 6.1 (codename
Hurr durr I'ma ninja sloth) is here to introduce experimental support for the Rust programming language. While this may sound very exciting for some, you should keep in mind that “experimental” means that it’s only a very basic implementation of Rust that cannot be used for any real-world use cases.
Another major change in Linux 6.1 is the multi-generational LRU VM work to better identify the memory pages that are actually in use. In addition, the new kernel series brings the ability to perform PKCS#7 signature verifications in BPF programs and to create destructive BPF programs, and a new security-module hook for controlling how user namespaces are created.
The Loongarch architecture has been improved with support for BPF JIT compilation, kdump, kexec, and perf events, the Btrfs file system received major performance improvements, support for buffered writes with io_uring, and support for fs-verity-protected files to send operations, the perf tool gained improved support for AMD CPUs, and the FUSE file system now supports the creation of temporary files.
Among other noteworthy changes, the kernel is now capable of decompressing and launching itself independent of the hardware architecture on EFI systems, the EROFS (Enhanced Read-Only File System) file system now supports sharing of duplicated data across filesystems, the minimal GNU Make version for compiling the kernel is now 3.82, and a new io_uring mode helps differing the execution of ring-related stuff until an app needs it.
Of course, there are also new and updated drivers for supporting newer hardware. Worth mentioning here is support for the PinePhone keyboard, XBOX One Elite paddles, X-Box Adaptive controller, PhoenixRC Flight controller, VRC-2 Car controller, XP-PEN Deco Pro S, HID++ for all Logitech Bluetooth devices, and DualSense Edge controller.
Moreover, Linux kernel 6.1 brings support for precision boost hardware control for AMD CPUs, Aspeed crypto driver for hardware acceleration, support for Intel Meteor Lake processors, and support for the ASMedia NVM image format.
Last but not least, Linux kernel 6.1 should be an LTS (Long Term Support) series that could receive updates for at least two years, according to renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, who always said that the last major kernel release of a year gets LTS support.
You can download Linux kernel 6.1 right now from the kernel.org website or from Linus Torvalds’ kernel source Git tree if you fancy compiling it yourself on your GNU/Linux distribution, but I recommend waiting for the new kernel version to first arrive in the stable software repositories of your favorite distro before upgrading from Linux kernel 6.0 or a previous version LTS series.
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