Linux Kernel 5.18 Released. This is What’s New

4 min


Linux Kernel 5.18 is released with improved hardware support and core kernel module refinements. Here’s a quick synopsis of the new features with download and installation details.

Linux Kernel 5.18 Brings Updates across modules
Linux Kernel 5.18 Brings Updates across modules

Linux Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 5.18 as the third stable mainline Kernel release of 2022. This release brings support for new processors, graphics, storage and other hardware components across all Kernel modules.

Following the timeline and with a moderate release-candidate phase since the Kernel 5.17 release, the mainline Linux Kernel 5.18 is now available for you to download. The updates include Tesla FSD chip support, improvements in the Intel and AMD family of processing units, etc.

That obviously means that the merge window for 5.19 will open tomorrow, and I already have a few pull requests pending. Thank you everybody. I’d still like people to run boring old plain 5.18 just to check, before we start with the excitement of all the new features for the merge window.

So outside of the parisc fixes, there’s random driver updates (mellanox mlx5 stands out, again likely because everything else is small), some other minor architecture fixes, some core networking, and some tooling stuff. And random small noise. People who really care for the details please just scroll down..

Linus

Although we have covered most of the changes during the first release candidate, here’s a quick summation of the Linux Kernel 5.18 new features.

Linux Kernel 5.18 – What’s New

Processors

Most of the work on Intel’s Alder Lake N SoCs lands in this Kernel version. The upcoming low-power and lower-end devices [such as Chromebooks] featuring Alder Lake N SoC should work efficiently.

A good bunch of RISC-V architecture support (open-source implementation of ARM] lands. Significant changes include:

  • Improved PolarFire SoC support, optimized MEMMOVE code, and support for Restartable Sequences.
  • CPU Idle support using the newer SBI (Supervisor Binary Interface) extension [contributed by Western Digital]
  • Support for the CURRENT_STACK_POINTER kernel option for extra stack debugging around the hardened user-copy code.
  • RISC-V’s default configuration files now opt for “CONFIG_PROFILING” enabled by default.

Other media work for this new kernel includes the Atmel microchip csi2dc driver, new sensor drivers, Mediatek MT8192 support in the MTK-VCodec driver, and other changes.

NVIDIA Tegra Video Decode Driver (Tegra-VDE) is now available in kernel 5.18.

AMD added some sound driver code for its upcoming series of platforms, such as Acp 3.0 (Audio Co-Processor), ACP PCI/PDM and Renoir.

One exciting change is the support for Tesla’s full self-driving SoC (FSD) in this Kernel. But you might ask why? Why does the Linux kernel need to maintain Tesla’s chip support? Because Tesla and Samsung both have some benchmark development environment consisting of Linux, they might need to do testing and work for their chip. And hence this patch also reduces maintainability from their standpoint as it always remains build-able. It opens sources of some of their patches, which is good for the community.

Storage

The KVM for Linux on 64-bit architecture adds improvements of Microsoft Hyper-V, Intel IPI (initial support), and AMD AVIC supports. With this change, AMD can now support up to 511 virtual CPUs in the Linux systems.

Another interesting change on exFAT introduces support for paths with trailing dots. It was stripped out earlier by exFAT in Linux.

Linux 5.18 no longer clears VolumeDirty in writeback, and essential change to avoid shortening the life of the storage device.

Moreover, this kernel release adds the initial Apple NVMe open-source driver for Linux systems, a new driver altogether. The reason is Apple’s design of NVMe in its M1 Macs, which is not connected to PCIe bus for data transfer, and also it runs a proprietary RTOS.

EXT4 file-system sees bug fixes and improvements on ordered data mode improving commit latency.

EROFS Read-Only Linux sees some slight improvement in the meta buffer operations.

This kernel release exposes the PECI interface between the CPU and baseboard management controllers (BMCs) and other platform management devices on Intel server platforms.

Also, the ReiserFS file system is deprecated from now on, starting with this kernel release. The decision is taken on the consideration of no-one is using it anymore.

I/O and Misc Updates

Alibaba requested SM3 (part of the Chinese Commercial Cryptography Suite) hash algorithm to be merged into this version. And it expects a 38% increase in performance with this AVX code on a Skylake system using this algorithm.

The MT6779 keypad found in Mediatek T6779 and other SoCs has a new driver in this kernel release.

And finally, the Imagis touchscreen driver adds catering to the IST3038C touchscreen chips.

How to Download and Install Linux Kernel 5.18

We always advise you not to install the latest mainline Kernel in your stable system unless you have specific new hardware or want to test. For general users, it is always best to wait for the standard Kernel update via your Linux Distribution’s (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora) official deployment channel.

If you still want to install, follow the below instructions to install Linux Kernel 5.18.

Firstly, visit the mainline kernel page.

There are two types of builds available – generic and lowlatency. For standard 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.

Secondly, download below four packages for generic via terminal and install them.

wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.18/amd64/linux-headers-5.18.0-051800-generic_5.18.0-051800.202205222030_amd64.deb
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.18/amd64/linux-headers-5.18.0-051800_5.18.0-051800.202205222030_all.deb
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.18/amd64/linux-image-unsigned-5.18.0-051800-generic_5.18.0-051800.202205222030_amd64.deb
wget -c https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.18/amd64/linux-modules-5.18.0-051800-generic_5.18.0-051800.202205222030_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 the above wget commands. You can find them on the mainline Kernel page.

For Arch Linux users, it is expected that Linux Kernel 5.18 release packages will arrive within the June 2022 first week during the monthly Arch .iso refresh.

Hopefully, I expect Linux Kernel 5.18 should feature in Ubuntu 22.10 and Fedora 37.

With this release, the merge window opens for the following Linux Kernel 5.19.


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Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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