Linux Kernel 5.10 is released. It is planned for LTS (long term support) Kernel release. Kernel 5.10 is the 21st stable release following the current Kernel 5.4 LTS.
Linux Kernel 5.10 Release Date
Linux Kernel 5.10 released on December 14, 2020.
The majority of the main Linux distributions are currently using the Linux Kernel 5.9.xx series including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Arch. However, Debian is conservative as always and still uses the Linux Kernel 4.x series.
The list of fixes and changes are pretty big in Linux Kernel 5.10. Here are the major changes in Linux Kernel 5.10.
Linux Kernel 5.10 Top Features
File system and Storage
- XFS file system is fixed the year 2038 problem (where time in seconds no longer fits into 32-bit integer) and now supported until July 2486.
- A change in inode in the allocation group makes faster mount times.
- Changes added in XFS code to deprecate the V4 file system format in 2030.
- Btrfs sees more changes as like the previous kernel. This file system is improving rapidly with performance and other aspects. In Kernel 5.10 Btrfs sees sync performance improvements among other changes.
- EXT4 file system which is the most widely used on Linux distributions now supports fast commits and file overwrite performance in DIO/DAX modes.
- More support was added to Linux Kernel 5.10 for Intel Rocket Lake CPUs which is the next generation desktop CPU architecture from Intel. Along with this, early support was added for Alder Lake and Meteor Lake CPUs from Intel.
- AMD Zen 3 CPU sees some performance improvement and fixes.
- Support added for initial RISC-V boot by EFI.
- The nasty Spectre vulnerability mitigation is rewritten for ARM.
- Bunch of AMD and Intel processor fixes and improvements across cache, paging, and new instruction support for Intel.
- Intel’s next-generation graphics card support work underway in this Kernel release. More code added for Tiger Lake support for battery life, Gen12 support for Intel Rocket lake.
- AMD RDNA 2, Radeon RX 600 support which was added in Kernel 5.9, sees more support in this release.
- Like other Kernel releases, Kernel 5.10 also bringing many open-source DRM (direct rendering manager) updates.
- Support added for Raspberry Pi 4 / BCM2711 display with the VC4 DRM driver.
Other Hardware and Ports
- USB4 – the next-generation USB interface seeing more improvements and additions in this Kernel 5.10 like the prior ones. The initial work started in earlier Kernel versions which continued with this for more mature support. The changes are in terms of more performance improvements.
- The Linux input subsystem sees more support added for newer Synaptics laptop touchpads. This also includes support for ThinkPad X1, X1E, P1 devices.
- DeviceTree addition for Librem 5 ARM devices.
- Sound card – Creative SoundBlaster Ae-7 support added.
- Nintendo Switch controller support was upstreamed as well.
Following mainstream distribution releases may feature Linux Kernel 5.10 by default. This is not final yet. But looking at the code freeze timeline with Kernel releases, this is the most optimistic guess.
- Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo
- Fedora 34
- Arch Linux mainline refresh on Jan 2021