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The Linux kernel has been updated to version 5.15, gaining lots of functionality. 5.15 is the latest Long Term Support version for this year.

According to Linus Torvalds, the release of the Linux kernel is the result of a ‘calm’ development process, despite the outcry from developers over the so-called ‘Werror’ decision that the lead-developer recently made. Werror refers to the uproar after Torvalds decided to change the Makefile for compiling the kernel, resulting in warnings being treated as errors. Torvalds had to mitigate the change after developers complaint that they were dealing with too many build failures. The lead developer later blamed himself for said problems.

NFTS driver finally integrated

One of version 5.15’s major additions is the completion of a long merge process of a new kernel driver for NFTS. The driver comes from Paragon Software. The complexity of the code and the fact that Paragon Software is new to providing kernel code for Linux made this merge process a lengthy one.

Another important new feature is the arrival of Data Access Monitor (DAMON). The technology was originally developed by Amazon and can be used for advanced optimization of memory management. The tool is accurate, lightweight and scalable. Among other things, it solves problems with core mechanisms in the current kernel.

Other functionality

Other added functionality to the Linux kernel v5.15 includes an Input Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) for the Device Address Resolution Table (DART) of Apple’s M1 chip, and a driver for the Intel Alchemist GPU. Also, Samsung’s SMB3 file server ksmbd has been added.

LTS for v5.15

Version 5.15 is the last version of this year to receive Long Term Support (LTS). The Linux kernel version will be supported until the end of October 2023. At that time, it reaches its end-of-life status. While version 5.16 of the Linux kernel is expected to see the light of day before the end of the year, 5.15 will not receive Long Term Support.

Version 5.16 is likely to bring the integration of FUTEX2 from vendor Collabora. This addition should be especially beneficial for the Wine and Proton (Steam Play) implementations of the Windows API WaitMultipleObjects.