Driver updates and additional processor support have been added.

Linus Torvalds just announced the release of Linux 5.10-rc1. The new release comes at the end of a two week merge window for the End Of Year 2020 kernel.

Writing in Linux Today, Torvalds commented on the release. “This looks to be a bigger release than I expected,” he writes. “And while the merge window is smaller than the one for 5.8 was, it’s not a *lot* smaller. And 5.8 was our biggest release ever.”

Torvalds comments that “things seem to have gone fairly smoothly. I don’t see any huge red flags, and the merge window didn’t cause any unusual issues for me.”

“Most of the actual changes are – as usual – driver updates,” he continues, “but there are changes all over.”

Indeed, with Linux 5.10 there is a lot of work on file-system optimizations and other storage improvements and various additions for AMD Zen 3 processors. There is continued open-source driver work for Big Navi / Radeon RX 6000 series, mainline support for the Purism Librem 5 smartphone revisions thus far.

SoundBlaster and Nvidia support added

The Creative SoundBlaster AE-7 support finally being supported under Linux, XFS has shifted its timestamp support from breaking after Year 2038 to now working up to Year 2486. There is also now initial support for NVIDIA Orin.

Processor support and security updates

PowerPC 601 support was retired as the original 32-bit PowerPC processor. Meanwhile IBM continues bringing up POWER10 support in the Linux kernel.

For AMD processors, AMD Zen 3 temperature sensor support and EDAC support were added. AMD SEV-ES support for Secure Encrypted Virtualization “Encrypted State” (ES) was added, for better securing virtual machines. AMD Secure Nested Paging IOMMU in preparation for SEV-SNP support has been included, as is AMD SME hardware-enforced cache coherency.

This release will be followed by about seven weeks worth of release candidates before the stable kernel release in December.