Linux Kernel 5.2 Officially Released, Here's What's New

Linus Torvalds has announced today the release and general availability of the Linux 5.2 kernel series, a major release that adds several new features, updated drivers, and many improvements.

After seven RCs (Release Candidates), the Linux 5.2 kernel series is now available and it comes with some very interesting features and enhancements. However, before we dive into what’s new, you should know that this release is not a long-term supported (LTS) branch, which means that you stick with your current LTS kernel instead.

I was somewhat pre-disposed towards making an rc8, simply because of my travels and being entirely off the internet for a few days last week,” said Linus Torvalds in a mailing list announcement. “So despite a fairly late core revert, I don’t see any real reason for another week of rc, and so we have a v5.2 with the normal release timing.”

Here’s what’s new in Linux kernel 5.2
Highlights of Linux kernel 5.2 include Sound Open Firmware, an open-source firmware that provides support for DSP audio devices, a new mount API for mounting file systems, new open-source GPU drivers for ARM Mali devices, support for case-insensitive names in the EXT4 file system, as well as performance improvements to the BFQ I/O scheduler.

It also adds a freezer controller for cgroups v2 to free up resources, implements a new device mapper “dust” target capable of simulating devices with read failures or failing sectors, adds the CLONE_PIDFD flag to clone(2) for fetching PIDs when creating processes, which are usable by pidfd_send_signal(2), and bring better resource monitoring that’s usable in Android.

Security-wise, Linux kernel 5.2 comes with a new CPU bug infrastructure that protects devices against the Intel MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) hardware vulnerabilities, along with a new architecture-independent boot option called “mitigations=” to make it easier to enable or disable mitigations for CPU flaws.

Linux kernel 5.2 also includes dozens of updated and new drivers for better hardware support, and countless bug and security fixes. You can download the Linux kernel 5.2 sources right now from kernel.org or via our free Linux software portal if you want to compile it on your favorite GNU/Linux distribution.

However, this is still a mainline kernel, which means that it isn’t ready for mass deployments, so we recommend waiting for the first point release, Linux kernel 5.2.1, to hit the streets before attempting to upgrade your kernels to the Linux 5.2 series. Also, wait for your Linux OS vendor to release it in the stable repositories.”

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