Linux Kernel 5.15 RC1 Brings Better NTFS Driver, More Apple M1 SoC Support

2 min

Linux Kernel 5.15 RC1 is released for testing, and it brings some interesting support and updates. In this post, we round up the important features of this Kernel release.

Linux Kernel 5.15 RC1
Linux Kernel 5.15 RC1

The official merge window for Linux Kernel 5.15 is now closed. And with that we have the first release candidate aka Linux Kernel 5.15 RC1 for testing. This release looks like a standard one, updating all the usual modules of the Kernel – Processors, Graphics, Storage, Ports and new device support.

Couple of things stands out is – the better NTFS driver developed by Paragon Software is now mainlined, while some important and significant update to Apple M1 SoC display driver, PCI interface support developed by Asahi Linux community.

So 5.15 isn’t shaping up to be a particularly large release, at least in number of commits. At only just over 10k non-merge commits, this is in fact the smallest rc1 we have had in the 5.x series. We’re usually hovering in the 12-14k commit range.

That said, counting commits isn’t necessarily the best measure, and that might be particularly true this time around. We have a few new subsystems, with NTFSv3 and ksmbd standing out. And as a result, when you look at the stats on a “lines changed” basis, 5.15-rc1 ends up looking much more middle-of-the-road. It still doesn’t look like a particularly big merge window, but also not remotely the smallest one.


Linux Kernel 5.15 RC1 – New Features


  • Optimized C3 Cache handling by setting proper switches in AMD processors.
  • AMD PTDMA driver is merged in this Kernel release, supporting high bandwidth memory-to-memory and I/O copy operations.
  • AMD Processors causing serious resume issues when waking up from suspending for certain Laptop models. A fix landed in this kernel release.
  • AMD SB-RMI Driver and AMD Zen 3 APU temperature monitoring is merged.
  • Some final pieces of support for Intel Alder Lake Processor, which was in the works for quite some time.


  • A bunch of AMD RDNA2 Graphics card initial support lands in this release.
  • Radeon “Cyan Skillfish” Navi 1x APU support lands in this release.
  • Intel submits initial code for XeHP and DG2 discrete graphics card. The patch also includes updates to DRM Scheduler, fixes for Alder Lake P and Alder Lake S and updates to Gen12 graphics.
  • Intel also drops Cannon Lake graphics support.

Storage Systems

  • Probably the most important of this Kernel release is the new NTFS driver, replacing the older one.
  • Developed by Paragon Software, this driver is expected to bring certain awaited features such as creation date of NTFS files and folders from Windows drive.
  • Other notable storage updates includes –
  • Optimization and improvements to XFS, EXT4, F2FS, Btrfs.
  • A fix for floppy disk driver code also came in this release.

Other Updates

  • Apple M1 IOMMU driver is merged, bringing more support for Apple M1 SoC in Linux. This IOMMU driver was created by the community as part of the “Asahi Linux” project. This driver is expected to get the display driver, USB and PCI interfaces working in Apple M1 chips.
  • Some ARM board updates including NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX suport.
  • New Realtek RTL8188EU WiFi driver support.
  • Cirrus Logic Dolphin audio support also included in this Kernel release.

Download this release tarball here. Or refer below for direct link to tar, diff from the Kernel 5.14.

mainline:5.15-rc12021-09-12[tarball][patch][view diff][browse]

We are expecting the usual release of multiple iterations until the final release. The final release of Linux Kernel 5.15 is expected by end of October 2021 if all the iterations testing goes smooth.


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