Linus Released Linux Kernel 5.19 From An Apple Hardware

4 min

Mainline Linux Kernel 5.19 arrives with improved hardware support and core kernel module refinements. Here’s a quick overview of the new features with additional details.

Linux Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 5.19 as the fourth stable mainline Kernel release of 2022. This release introduces support for new processors, graphics cards, and other refinements.

The development and release-candidate cycle of Linux Kernel 5.19 are a little longer than other releases. Primarily because of the Ratbleed Arbitrary Speculative Execution With Return Instructions vulnerability uncovered last month. While it is not entirely fixed, some of the patches for x64 land in this version.

Although, as the experts say, Ratbleed is not found in the wild yet, and is only possible in the lab environment. So, other than that, essential ARM changes continue to pour in while improvements are seen across networking, storage and other Kernel modules.

Although a nice write-up I published on Kernel 5.19 features on the first release candidate announcement, I will wrap up the essential features in this post.

But before that, the most interesting thing is that Linus used an Apple ARM device running Asahi Linux to release this version. In a way, it’s a “first”, and here’s what he has to say.

On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a loong time, and it’s finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team. We’ve had arm64 hardware around running Linux for a long time, but none of it has really been usable as a development platform until now.

It’s the third time I’m using Apple hardware for Linux development – I did it many years ago for powerpc development on a ppc970 machine. And then a decade+ ago when the Macbook Air was the only real thin-and-lite around. And now as an arm64 platform.

Not that I’ve used it for any real work, I literally have only been doing test builds and boots and now the actual release tagging. But I’m trying to make sure that the next time I travel, I can travel with this as a laptop and finally dogfooding the arm64 side too.


Linux Kernel 5.19 – What’s New


Firstly, initial support for the LoongArch CPU family lands in this Kernel release. The LoongArch is the general purpose CPU developed by the Chinese company Loongson, and it’s based on MIPS architecture hopefully, complete support will be available by Kernel 5.20.

We are seeing more thermal power changes for current processor line-ups for the last few Kernel releases. The Kernel 5.19 release also brings Run-Time Average Power Limiting (RAPL) support for Intel’s Raptor and Alder Lake processors.

A new Intel IFS driver support brings a feature which helps to detect the hardware issues such as CPU faults at the circuit level at an early stage of deployment of the processors.

While the thermal and power-dominated Intel CPUs, AMD sees more performance updates in its own CPU families. Firstly, more updates were introduced in the Instruction-Based Sampling (IBS) module for AMD Zen 4 CPUs are planned for the end of this year. Moreover, PerfMonV2 is introduced in this release giving more performance monitoring capabilities.

Additionally, AMD Zen 4 CPUs introduced an Instruction-based sampling (IBS) which is planned for release by the end of this year.

Also, the support for a.out is removed in this release.

Major ARM update

A big step for the ARM platforms has finally arrived. The mainline Linux Kernel now supports multiple ARM platforms, which is a big step considering it was in the works for a decade and includes a vast number of patches.

Linux Kernel 5.19 Rc1 release announcement mentions ARM changes

Graphics and Storage Updates

Under the hood, the graphics and storage updates received several updates.

Firstly, Apple M1 NVMe SSD controller support has made a considerable change. Secondly, enhancement is seen across XFS, btrfs, F2FS and exFAT file systems.

Moreover, an interesting metric to wonder about is the Linux Kernel 5.19 adds around half-million lines of code for the graphics driver alone. They include updates across AMD RDNA, CDNA, Intel’s Raptor Lake, Intel’s DG2/Alchemist and more.

Updates in networking with the changing times

High-performance networking is desirable with the emergence of the Cloud and data centres. Hence, Linux Kernel 5.19 supports Big TCP, which helps to achieve traffic speed at 400GBit/s.

The Multi-Path TCP (MPTCP) continued the improvements in this release. Other noteworthy support includes the Qualcomm ath11k Wi-Fi driver that adds wake-on-lan, support for Realtek 8852ce chipset, MediaTek T700 modems and Rensas RZ/V2M.

Other Assorted Updates

The famous random number generator continues its improvements in this release.

Remember the Framework laptop? The laptop gets Chrome OS EC driver support in this release which enables the usage of the non-Chromebook device.

Also, smaller chunks of updates arrive for Wacom tabs, Lenovo Thinkpad Trackpoint II, Google Whisker Touchpad, and Lenovo X12 TrackPoint.

So, that’s about it. You may want to go thru the entire change log here.

How to Download and Install Linux Kernel 5.19

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 it. 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 it, follow the below instructions to install Linux Kernel 5.19.

Firstly, visit the mainline kernel page.

There are two types of builds available – generic and lowlatency. You can download generic builds that work most of the time for standard systems.

For audio recordings and other setups that require low latency, download the lowlatency one.

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

wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
wget -c
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 5.19 release packages will arrive within August 2022, the first week during the monthly Arch .iso refresh.

Hopefully, I expect Linux Kernel 5.19 should feature in Ubuntu 22.10 and Fedora 37.

This release opens the merge window for the following Linux Kernel 5.20.

Wrapping Up

Besides the usual Kernel updates, I believe the critical takeaway is that Linus is officially working in bits and pieces in an Apple Silicon hardware. So, I assume some exciting items are coming up next year, targeting Apple ARM devices. And Asahi Linux probably gets a boost and additional contribution since it is the only viable Linux distro under development for the Apple ARM series.

Interesting time ahead. So, do you think we will have a stable Linux distro running native Apple hardware out of the box soon? Let me know in the comment box.


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