Last Sunday (2), Linus Torvalds made the official announcement of Linux kernel 6.0. The novelty brings what we always expect from a new version: optimizations and more features. Highlights include fixing an issue that has plagued machines with an AMD chip for two decades and improved support for Intel Arc graphics chips.
Until then, the last kernel version was 5.19. If Torvalds jumped from that to version 6.0, the changes must be big, right? In fact, there are many advances here. The novelty brings more than 15 thousand commitsto give you an idea.
But the reason for the numbering change is merely a matter of convenience. Torvalds thinks the previous sequence (5.xx) was getting too big. Look what he wrote in official announcement:
So, as I hope everyone is clear, the major version number change is more about me not having fingers and toes anymore. [para contar] than any fundamental changes.
What’s New for Intel and AMD Chips
But, yes, there is news that goes beyond Linus Torvalds’ sense of humor, as has already become clear. For starters, Linux 6.0 advances support for Intel Arc graphics cards, work that started in previous versions but is still ongoing.
It makes sense. Although at a slow pace, Intel’s dedicated GPUs are starting to take up space in the market. An example is the board Arc A770which will hit shelves from the 12th. There is still work to be done, but the expectation is that, in the new kernel, the brand’s GPUs will work without major problems.
Still in the Intel ecosystem, the Linux 6.0 kernel brings drivers that add official support for fourth-generation Xeon processors and the newly announced chips. 13th Gen Intel Core (Raptor Lake).
There’s news for the AMD universe too. The company has provided drivers that improve the performance of Radeon GPUs based on the RDNA 3 architecture, for example.
It doesn’t end there. The AMD Ryzen Threadripper and AMD Epyc chips had a performance boost thanks to some kernel tweaks, mainly in terms of power consumption.
At this point, Linux 6.0 solves an old problem. In 2002, the kernel received an update to fix flaws related to the power management of computers with an AMD chip. The problem is that, even today, this fix can affect the performance of these machines.
O Phoronix reports that Linux 6.0 absorbs a solution presented by an Intel engineer. This consists of a code that makes the problematic feature work only with chips of the latter. In them, the problem does not appear.
There are several other small news. For example, Linux 6.0 officially supports chips like Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 for notebooks. One model that is equipped with such a processor is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s.
Chromebooks based on Arm chips have also received attention in the new kernel version.
Other features include improved support for standards such as Risc-V, OpenRISC and LoongArch. The latter consists of a Chinese CPU architecture whose support started in Linux 5.19.
Linux 6.0: Availability
Note that Linus Torvalds announced the new version of kernel (core), not a full operating system. The arrival of Linux 6.0 to distributions depends on their maintainers.
Have no doubt that Canonical (Ubuntu), Red Hat and so many organizations working with Linux will adopt the new version. You just need to be patient. Most don’t usually do this right away.
For those who have the knowledge to compile the kernel manually in their installation, the Linux 6.0 can now be downloaded from the official website.