Linus Torvalds announced the launch of Linux 5.12. He said the update is small but was careful to mention that the next one will have more changes and will probably be bigger. Torvalds said that both the shortlog (appended) and the diffstat are small.

He termed them a random collection of small fixes in some areas. With Linux 5.2 out, he’s now started to merge windows for the next version (5.13) but he still encouraged developers to test 5.12.

Torvalds wrote that despite the extra week it took, it was a small release overall.

A modest but meaningful slew of changes

While the release may be minimal in terms of changes made, Linux 5.12 does have some improvements for hardware. For instance, it can now better support Microsoft Surface laptops.

Linux 5.12 contains work on the Surface System Aggregator firmware (an embedded controller for managing thermal reporting, battery status, and other hardware-related functions).

Work has been ongoing to improve the module for Linus but it’s from an independent developer and not from Microsoft. The kernel version also comes with better support for Lenovo laptop hardware profiles because of the work done by Lenovo and Red Hat engineers.

What else is new?

Torvalds notes in his post that some AMD and Intel i915 GPU fixes are significant. The Intel GPU fixes in this version of the kernel refer to an option to disable Intel integrated graphics security mitigations for ‘iGPU leaks.’

Another addition worth noting is Variable Rate Refresh (VRR)/Adaptive -Sync for Intel Tiger Lake 12th Gen architecture graphics and newer.

Linux 5.12 now allows overlocking on the Radeon RX 6000 Series chips, supports Nintendo 64 and the PS5 DualSense controller drive. There’s more added in 5.12 but we can’t wait to see just how expansive 5.13 gets.