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Linux kernel 6.0 debuts, Linus Torvalds teases ‘core new things’ coming in version 6.1

Linus Torvalds has released a stable cut of version 6.0 of the Linux kernel.

“As is hopefully clear to everybody, the major version number change is more about me running out of fingers and toes than it is about any big fundamental changes,” Torvalds wrote in his release announcement.

Torvalds rated version 6.0 “one of the bigger releases at least in numbers of commits in a while”, thanks largely to the inclusion of “15k non-merge commits in there in total”.

But he expressed more enthusiasm for version 6.1 when reminding kernel contributors that the release of a stable kernel update means it’s time to get cracking on new additions.

“Tomorrow I'll open the merge window for 6.1. Which - unlike 6.0 - has a number of fairly core new things lined up,” he wrote.

Those “things” include support for the Rust programming language, the addition of which was all-but-assured with a Saturday pull request. Optional disabling of Spectre mitigations for some Arm silicon will be added, in recognition of the pain that fixing the speculative execution mess can inflict on Arm-powered servers. Other changes make the performance hit from Retbleed fixes less painful.

CPU fault detection is another addition, a feature likely to be welcomed by those operating large fleets of Linux boxes.

Notable additions to Linux 6.0 include better ACPI handling and power management, which should save juice for users of Intel's Sapphire Rapids CPUs.

In-kernel support for SMB3 should speed up file transfers and improve security by giving more users reasons to bin the insecure and long-deprecated SMB1.

Support for RISC-V advanced on several fronts. So did work to address the LoongArch architecture that China has backed as a candidate indigenous technology to reduce dependence on imported tech.

Intel’s discrete Arc graphics are acknowledged and support for some Arm-powered laptops has been improved.

And Linux wouldn’t be Linux without the addition of some obscurities, in this release that means ancient Atari personal computers scored code to improve their handling of VGA signals.

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