Linux Kernel 5.13 RC1 Released with Apple M1 SoC Support and Many Improvements

2 min

The Linux Kernel 5.13 RC1 – first release candidate is here for you. You can download and test now. We take a look at the new features in this Kernel release.

Linux Kernel 5.13 RC1
Linux Kernel 5.13 RC1

The merge window of Linux Kernel 5.13 is now closed, which started following the release of Linux Kernel 5.12. Much new hardware support across CPU, Graphics, Ports, Network, Sound devices lands in this iteration of Linux Kernel. Looking at the changes, it seems the changes are moderate in volume compared to the earlier releases. And this release brings some major changes as well.

So ignore that part if you want to look at what changed. That will
still show driver changes at 60% of the diff, which is all normal.
It’s all over the place, although gpu and networking stands out (yes,
the gpu updates are noticeable even when ignoring the amd header

Outside of drivers, it’s a bit of everything: arch updates (arm, x86
and powerpc dominate), documentation (devicetree bindings dominate – I’m not sure it should count as documentation, but there’s also a fair amount of translation work), tooling, and obviously all the expected core kernel stuff: filesystems, process handling, VM and core


Here I compiled a quick summary of the new items in Linux Kernel 5.13 for you. Have a look.

Linux Kernel 5.13 RC1 – New Features


  • Apple M1 with Apple Silicon Devices support is introduced in this Kernel. This is the very early stage of the support and much work to be done in the coming weeks. Hence we would be seeing more updates on this SoC is coming Kernel releases.
  • AMD Energy driver is removed from the Linux kernel due to disagreement on the implementation between AMD and the HWMON module maintainer.
  • A new driver is introduced for Intel mobile/desktop CPUs which enables cooling by downclocking the CPU at a lower threshold than the default value.
  • Intel Alder Lake, AMD Zen 3 CPUs sees improvements in performance tracking and monitoring areas.
  • MIPS-based open-source processor Loongson 2K1000 supports lands in this Kernel.
  • Microsoft adds patches to allow Linux to be run in a 64 bit ARM Hyper-V guest. This change is significant in contracts to Apple’s M1 ARM support in the same Kernel.
  • AMD Green Sardine APU supports added to the AMD Crypto Co-processor Driver which helps to offload the encryption work to the Co-processor in the Sardine APU line up.


  • Intel Alder Lake S support is added in this Kernel.
  • More advancement is added for the Intel Discrete Graphics drive enabling the use of local memory for internal memory allocations.
  • Many fixes and performance improvements for AMDGPU drivers.
  • Generic USB Display Driver “GUD” support is added in this Kernel opening up various avenues to connect displays such as USB to HDMI/SDTV, etc.

Storage, File Systems

  • In the past couple of Kernel releases, we saw Btrfs support is being added incrementally. And this release also includes more work on the Btrfs zoned mode support.
  • Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) sees improvements in mount options and fixes.
  • The Flash file system for unmanaged flash memory devices UBIFS introduces Zstd compression by default.
  • Cluster computing file system OrangeFS sees performance improvements in this Kernel release. The performance is expected to speed up by 17x with the new code.

Other Major Additions

  • Realtek Ethernet controller chips RTL8156 2.5G and RTL8153 support are added.
  • Amazon Luna Game controller support and Microsoft Azure MANA network adapter support are added.
  • Realtek sound amplifiers RT1019, RT1316, RT711, and RT715 support are added.
  • More updates to USB and Thunderbolt ports.
  • Apple Magic Mouse 2 and new MS Surface device support are added.

So, these are some of the major changes to the Linux Kernel 5.13 RC1. Usual hardware changes across the modules and improvements over prior additions.

Download this release tarball here.

We are expecting the usual release of multiple iterations until the final release. The final release of Linux Kernel 5.13 is expected by end of June 2021 if all the iterations testing goes smooth.


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