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Linux Kernel 5.3 Officially Released, Here's What's New

Linus Torvalds announced today the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, a major that brings several new features, dozens of improvements, and updated drivers.

Two months in the works and eight RC (Release Candidate) builds later, the final Linux 5.3 kernel is now available, bringing quite some interesting additions to improve hardware support, but also the overall performance. Linux kernel 5.3 had an extra Release Candidate because of Linus Torvalds’ travel schedule, but it also brought in a few needed fixes.

Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad Btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues,” said Linus Torvalds.

Here’s what’s new in Linux kernel 5.3
Highlights of the Linux 5.3 kernel series include support for Intel Speed Select to make power tuning much easier on certain Xeon servers, support for AMD Radeon Navi graphics cards, such as the AMD Radeon RX5700, in the AMDGPU driver, support for Zhaoxin x86 processors, as well as support for the utilization clamping mechanism in power-asymmetric CPUs.

Linux kernel 5.3 also introduces a new pidfd_open(2) system call that promises to help service managers to handle with PID reuse issues, support for the umwait x86 instructions for more power efficient userspace, support for the lightweight and flexible ACRN embedded hypervisor, and support for 16 millions new IPv4 addresses in the 0.0.0.0/8 range.

Of course, there are also numerous new and updated drivers included in the Linux 5.3 kernel series, which you can download right now from here. However, please note that this is currently a “mainline” kernel, which shouldn’t yet be used in production environments. Linux kernel 5.3 will be declared stable when the first point release hits the streets.”

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