LINUX HAS been updated to a brand new version number, something that creates more excitement in users than in Linus Torvald's mind.
Linux 5.0 has hit rc1, meaning that within weeks (roughly seven or eight), it will be the stable kernel for the various operating systems that depend on it.
Despite the renumbering being as arbitrary as ever (he's been thinking of changing this for the last four versions) there are actually a whole bunch of new features to talk about.
AMD FreeSync and Raspberry Pi touchscreen support have been added, there's early support for the Nvidia RTX Turing GPUs, and Logitech's high-resolution scrolling from its high-end mice.
There's support for a crop of new ARM processors too, with NXP PowerPC processors finally getting their Spectre V2 patches.
Several file systems get tweaks - most notably, F2FS, the File System in use on Google Pixel devices and there are tweaks for EXT4 too.
Speaking of Spectre V2, developers have been hard at Retpoline overhead reduction work, to try and find a way of speeding the kernel up, after losing some performance in repairing the aforementioned vulnerability. DMA mapping updates have been implemented to take care of this though.
No Wireguard this month, though.
Lest we forget that we're now 19 years away from what could be one of the biggest issues since the millennium bug wasn't. The Y2038 bug has been known about for some time but as we get closer, there are renewed efforts to mitigate it once and for all.
Also noticeable is a new font that does better justice to your fancy monitor - specifically HiDPI and retina models.
And for security, there's support for two new encryption algorithms - Adiantum and Streebog.
Although it'll be quite a while before we see the 5.0 kernel being incorporated into your Linux daily-drivers, the move represents absolutely nothing because Linus can and will always tell you that they're all just numbers really in the first place. μ
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