Linux 5.5 released with enhanced hardware support

With this update, it seems clear that the main focus of the development team is to enhance the kernel's hardware support. Other than that, there was also work done on improving the network driver and security.

Users can now get their hands on the newly-updated Linux Kernel v5.5, which features better hardware support and increased security.

This update was announced by the creator of Linux himself, Linus Torvalds, on the official mailing list of Linux Kernel. Going by the codename ‘Kleptomaniac Octopus,’ Linux V5.5 comes with plenty of performance enhancements that are sure to take the kernel to the next level.

What’s New in Linux Kernel 5.5

With this update, it seems clear that the main focus of the development team was to enhance the kernel’s hardware support. Other than that, there was also work done on improving the network driver and security.

Delving deep into the hardware details, the new version will now be able to handle Raspberry Pi 4 better. Now, you will be able to connect your Raspberry Pi device to the Linux kernel right off the bat. Moreover, the kernel also offers better support for the Ugoos AM6, RK3308, and NanoPi Duo2 boards.

The kernel will also come with drivers for Chromebook’s Wake-on-Voice feature, airplane mode LEDs, the keyboard backlight, and Fn key combinations.

One impressive thing about this update is that it focuses on various demographics, even gamers. Accordingly, Linux 5.5 will be able to support two gaming keyboards, which include the first and second versions of Logitech G15. Although these keyboards are quite old, they are loved by gamers to this day, because they sport an LCD-screen, backlight modes, and macro buttons.

Apart from that, gamers will have the ability to overclock their AMD OverDrive and also get better performance, all thanks to the improvements in the kernel’s scheduler.

The developers of this update have also worked on improving the ext4, exFAT, and XFS file systems. When it comes to ext4, there is now support for direct I/O through fscrypt and iomap to handle smaller block sizes. Apart from that, users will also get better power management for Ice lake and Thunderbolt USB.

Now coming to its upgraded security, it is now possible for MS Hyper-V virtual machines to hibernate and kernel concurrency sanitizer to spot data race conditions. Plus, from what we hear right now, Linux kernel 5.6 is highly likely to come with WireGuard support.

The next time, we’ll be seeing a Chromebook that sports an electronic privacy screen mode that takes you to a private screen by tapping a single key. If anyone has plans on buying this Chromebook, we have good news that this feature is going to be supported by the Linux kernel v5.5 as well.

Conclusion

Even though the improvements mentioned in this article are good enough reasons to upgrade, you should know if you need to update. Kernel updates are not always smooth due to their very nature. It brings new technologies, but also could be problematic on older hardware. Check out the official news source to get to know more about Linux Kernel 5.5.

Zohaib Ahsan
Hi! I'm Zohaib Ahsan, contributor to FOSS Linux. I'm studying computer science, I’ve learned a thing or two about operating systems that are based on Linux. This has made me join FOSS Linux where I can share what I have learned with the rest of the world. Not to mention — some major tea is going to be spilled as well — as I share with you the latest developments in the world of Linux.

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