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Linux founder Linus Torvalds has announced the availability of Linux 5.0. Despite the leap in version number, this release does not bring any significant new functionality with it.

Initially, the new kernel version would appear as Linux 4.21, but Torvalds finally decided it was time to jump to 5.0. Not because there is considerably more functionality in this version, but simply because the 4.x version numbers, according to him, were too high.

I would like to point out (again) that we don’t do feature-based releases, and that 5.0 means no more than that the 4.x-numbers started to get so big that I didn’t have enough fingers and toes to count them, writes Torvalds in his announcement in the Linux Kernel Mailing List.

However, Linux 5.0 contains some important improvements compared to the previous version. For example, support for AMD Freesync has been added to the kernel, as well as an ingrained touchscreen driver for the Raspberry Pi. Nvidia’s new Turing body will also be supported from now on.

In addition, support for Googles Adiantum in Fscrypt was added. Adiantum is a technology to enable fast data encryption on low-end hardware. It is used in Android Go smartphones, among other things. There are also some additions such as support for btrfs-swap files, high-resolution scrolling with scroll wheels from Logitech and Microsoft, and additional mitigations for Spectre and Meltdown. The complete changelog can be consulted here.

The new Linux 5.0 kernel can be downloaded from kernel.org. Meanwhile, the Linux community is already looking ahead to Linux 5.1. With this the merge window for 5.1 is clearly open and I am glad to see that I have received several early pull requests, concludes Torvalds.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.