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Linus Torvalds published the first release candidate for version 5.14 of the Linux kernel. Torvalds had some remarks accompanying the release, where he made clear his hopes that the release cycle will be smooth, with observations about the smoothness of the process related to the size of the release.

Torvalds encouraged developers to overlook (again) another set of big AMD GPU hardware description header files in this kernel version. He wrote that the kernel seems to have them fairly regularly, adding that they are always these huge generated headers that end up towering over everything else.

IDE legacy code removed

Torvalds said that almost exactly half of the whole 5.14-rc1 patch is made up of the GPU headers, which he said ‘skews the statistics a lot.’ This release is driver-dominated, which is standard for the course. However, even he admitted that the removal of old IDE support in this kernel is slightly less usual. Even the removal of the legacy code related to IDE, a few tens of thousands of lines, could not stop this version from growing when measured by the number of code lines it has.

What else is in the kernel?

Removal of the IDE code makes a lot of the 40-pin ribbon cables redundant unless users go for the libata code remaining in the kernel. Those who committed to storage tech that uses those cables were given a warning, two years in advance, warning that IDE would be canned in this kernel.

Some of the noted inclusions in this version include main support for Raspberry Pi 400, support for the Rust programming language, code from Microsoft to improve Hyper-V, and NVMeTCP improvements that have lowered the CPU utilization for both EPYC and Xeon processors.