Linus Torvalds officially released Linux 5.13 yesterday, Sunday, after seven release candidates. According to Torvalds , 5.13 is after the relatively small Linux 5.12 one of the larger kernels in the 5 series with 16,000 commits from over 2,000 developers. Nevertheless, the week after rc7 was so quiet that he saw no reason for another rc.
CPU / Graphics
Important innovations in 5.13 are the initial, very early support for Apple’s M1 SoC and for AMD Radeon multi-chip graphics cards from the Aldeberan series . In addition, AMD’s FreeSync HDMI with Linux 5.13 should at least be fully functional with HDMI 2.0. Intel’s Alder Lake platform also received initial support. The free instruction set architecture RISC-V received many further improvements .
In terms of security, it is gratifying that the sandboxing that has been in development for years using the Landlock Security Module (LSM) has now been integrated in 5.13. The documentation states that LSM also allows unprivileged processes to create powerful security sandboxes in addition to the existing system-wide access controls. The compiler front end Clang now has support for the security function Control-Flow Integrity and thus offers runtime checks before each indirect function call to ensure that the target is a valid function with a valid static type.
While the first support for Btrfs on with 5.12 zoned storage devices was added , with 5.13 further improvements can be reported . The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) offers a new mount option . In terms of network, the long-awaited new wireless WAN subsystem developed by Linaro was introduced . The kernel internals have changed the way kernel modules are compressed. From 5.13 onwards, in addition to Gzip and XZ, they can now also use the effective Zstd algorithm and are then given the extension .ko.zst. In addition, Zstd in the kernel has been upgraded to version 1.4.10 and will in future receive the current upstream version.
Microsoft contributed code for 5.13 in several places. With 5.13, newer Surface Laptops have better support for touchpad and keyboard and therefore require less out-of-tree code. In addition, Microsoft Linux supports as a guest with its virtualization technology Hyper-V now also with ARM64 .
A new generic USB display driver should, among other things, be used to convert a Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB-to-HDMI display adapter. further developed Asynchronous I / O (AIO) was in the form of introduced with Kernel 5.1 io_uring . Developer Jens Axboe sees an improvement of around 5% in asynchronous I / O through the new patches.
As always, all other changes can be followed on the website Kernel Newbies , which will be completed in the course of the next few days.