Linux Torvalds announced the release of the latest Linux Kernel 5.11 (“Valentine’s Day Edition”) with some interesting new features. We take a look at what’s new and how you can get the latest Kernel in your favorite Linux Distribution.
Coming after more than two months since the prior Kernel 5.10 release, Linux Kernel 5.11 brings usual improvements, and new hardware supports. This is the first Kernel release of 2021 and it contributes to the improvements of Processors, Graphics and storage space. In addition to that the support for the new processor and hardware line up which are yet to be released – also being added phase-wise.
That said, lets take a look what’s new.
Table of Contents
Linux Kernel 5.11 – What’s New
AMD Zen1/Zen2/Zen3 PowerCap RAPL (Runtime Average Power Limiting) Support is added. The power capping feature was there for Intel hardware which is now being added for AMD Zen initial series of processors.
AMD SFH Driver (Sensor Fusion Hub) driver is being included in this Kernel. This driver handles the gyroscope and other sensors in AMD based Ryzen series of laptops.
AMD SoC PMC (system-on-chip power management controller) driver is included which brings better power management on Ryzen notebooks, AMD Chromebooks.
Software Guard Extensions support for Intel processors finally lands. This brings better security on DRM, web browsing and encryption keys handling, etc cases.
Intel Platform Monitoring Technology (PMT) is now supported by this Kernel. This feature helps to collect telemetry about devices and managing them. This is beneficial for large organizations and data centers that handle huge sets of devices.
- Initial support added for AMD Van Gogh APU and Green Sardine APU devices.
- Many DRM updates – following the tradition of all Kernel releases.
- Intel Keem Bay display support.
- More support added for Radeon RX 6800 and Intel DG1.
- The Btrfs sees continuous improvements like all the Kernel releases. This release also adds many additions as well.
- Other file systems that see many improvements are F2FS, XFS, VirtIO-FS.
Other hardware (major ones)
- Support added for ASUS new gaming laptop keyboards.
- More USB4 and Thunderbolt port improvements.
- Pioneer DDJ-RR DJ controller support.
Linux Kernel 5.11 release – Download and Install
You can install the mainline kernel packages from the below link right now in your latest Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based derivatives. But it is not recommended to install this as it might break the current Ubuntu Linux system whichever you are running (e.g Ubuntu 20.04 LTS). If you are running Debian, Ubuntu, and other stable releases – do not upgrade using the below steps. Instead, wait for an official update in respective distributions.
For general users, unless you are keen to experiment with the latest hardware whose support is added in this release, you should not update at the moment.
If you still want to install the latest Linux Kernel 5.11, follow the below instructions to install in Ubuntu-based systems.
- Visit the mainline kernel page.
- There are two types of builds available – generic and lowlatency. For common systems, you can download generic builds that work most of the time. For audio recordings and other setups that require low latency, download the lowlatency one.
- Download below four packages for generic via terminal and install.
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.11/amd64/linux-headers-5.11.0-051100-generic_5.11.0-051100.202102142330_amd64.deb
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.11/amd64/linux-headers-5.11.0-051100_5.11.0-051100.202102142330_all.deb
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.11/amd64/linux-image-unsigned-5.11.0-051100-generic_5.11.0-051100.202102142330_amd64.deb
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.11/amd64/linux-modules-5.11.0-051100-generic_5.11.0-051100.202102142330_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
- After installation, reboot the system.
The instruction for lowlatency and other architecture (ARM) installations are the same. Replace the package name in above
wget command. Below are the links to .deb files for other architectures.
- Low latency packages for Kernel – 5.11 (pick the packages with lowlatency in their name)
- Linux Kernel 5.11 – ARM64 builds
If you are using Arch Linux, or Arch-based distribution, it is expected that Linux Kernel 5.11 release packages arrive within the March 2021 first week during monthly refresh.