Official release of Linux kernel 6.9, introducing support for Rust on AArch64 (ARM64) architectures and support for the Intel FRED mechanism

Linux kernel 6.9 is officially available. This release introduces several new features and improved hardware support, including support for Rust on AArch64 (ARM64) architectures and support for Intel’s Flexible Return and Event Delivery (FRED) mechanism.

The Linux kernel is a free, open-Source operating system kernel: 4 monolithic, modular, multitasking, Unix-like. It was originally written in 1991 by Linus Torvalds for his i386 PC, and was quickly adopted as the kernel of the GNU operating system, which was written to be a free replacement for Unix. Linux is deployed on a wide variety of computer systems, such as embedded devices, mobile devices (including its use in the Android operating system), personal computers, servers, mainframes, and supercomputers.

Linus Torvalds announced the release and general availability of Linux kernel 6.9, the latest stable version of the Linux kernel. Highlights of the Linux 6.9 kernel include support for Rust on AArch64 (ARM64) architectures, support for Intel’s Flexible Return and Event Delivery (FRED) mechanism for improved low-level event delivery , support for AMD SNP (Secure Nested Paging) guests and a new dm-vdo (virtual data optimizer) target in the device mapper for inline deduplication, compression, zero-block elimination and thin provisioning (thin provisioning).

Linux kernel 6.9 also supports the Named Address Spaces feature in GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) which allows the compiler to better optimize per-CPU data access, adds initial support for FUSE passthrough to allow the kernel to serve files directly from a user-space FUSE server, adds support for dynamic energy model updating at runtime, and introduces a new LPA2 mode for 64-bit ARM processors.

The Rust language has been updated to version 1.76.0 in Linux 6.9, which also reworks the locking mechanism in the GPIO subsystem, adds support for ORC stack unwinder and kernel live patch for LoongArch architecture, mitigates the Register File Data Sampling (RFDS) vulnerability affecting Intel Atom processors, and adds support for the membarrier() system call for the RISC-V architecture.

Other notable changes in Linux kernel 6.9 include support for LZ4 compression for hibernation image creation and loading code, support for NFSD administrators to revoke open state and locked NFSv4, support for subvolume child tree, improved log pipelining, improved reject path, improved directory structure checking, and new mm help in bcachefs filesystem introduced in Linux kernel 6.8.

The Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS) gained support for zoned block devices, per-file compression, and improved data recovery after a sudden power loss to a zoned block device , the exFAT file system received directory sync performance improvements, the EXT4 file system received an inode flag for atomic writes and inline resizing improvements, and the Btrfs file system received More fixes for zon mode and minor performance optimizations.

Additionally, memory management performance was improved, the perf tool received several new features, support for BPF tokens was added to delegate a subset of BPF subsystem functionality from daemons favored system-wide like systemd, and 64-bit ARM processors received initial support for the contiguous PTE bit to allow TLBs to map a range larger than a single PTE if the range is physically contiguous.

Networking improvements in Linux 6.9 include support for TCP_NOTSENT_LOWAT in MPTCP, support for forwarding ICMP error messages in IPSec, support for independent control state machine for bonding according to IEEE 802.1AX-2008 5.4.15, support for hosts with multiple disjoint MCTP networks, support for new 2.5GE and 5GE Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) link modes, support for AMSDU SPP (signaling and payload protection) and support for OFDMA wide bandwidth.

New drivers are included in Linux 6.9 for the ChromeOS embedded controller, Marvell’s VF Octeon PCI Endpoint NIC, RENESAS’ FemtoClock3 wireless clock generator, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite (X1E80100) processor, Bluetooth Wireless devices Action Mouse, Keyboard, GamePad, Book Cover, Universal Keyboard and HOGP Keyboard from Samsung, gamepads from Snakebyte, as well as I2C and SPI touch controllers from Goodix Berlin.

It also adds more AMD IP blocks to support future AMD hardware, updates Intel Xe graphics driver, adds Displayport tunnel support for Intel i915 graphics driver, adds HDMI support for Rockchip processor RK3128, adds SoundWire support for AMD ACP 6.3 systems and DSPless mode support for Intel Soundwire systems, battery charge control support for Fujitsu laptops, and support for Refresh rate key support for Lenovo IdeaPad laptops.

Finally, Linux kernel 6.9 states that the EXT2 file system is deprecated because it is not (and will not be) protected against the year 2038 problem. Although you can still use EXT2 in Linux kernel 6.9, Linux kernel developers recommend avoiding it. Along the same lines, Linux 6.9 finally removes the old implementation of the NTFS file system, defaulting to NTFS3 for support for NTFS file systems.

The Linux 6.9 kernel will be a short-lived branch that will only be supported for a few months. It will be replaced by the Linux kernel 6.10, whose merge window was officially opened by Linus Torvalds. The release of Linux kernel 6.10 is scheduled for mid to late September 2024.

Here is the announcement from Linus Torvalds:

Linux 6.9

Thorsten points out a few more regression corrections that haven’t reached me yet, but none of them seem significant or concerning enough to delay publication another week. We will need to backport when they are resolved and come upstream.

So 6.9 is out, and last week seemed pretty stable (and the whole release seemed pretty normal). Here’s last week’s shortlog, with the changes mostly dominated by driver updates (GPU and Network being the biggest, but “important” is still pretty small, and there’s other driver noise as well).

Outside of the drivers, there are some filesystem fixes (bcachefs still stands out, but ksmbd shows up too), some late selftest fixes, and some basic networking fixes.

And I now have a more powerful arm64 machine (thanks to Ampere), so last week I did almost as many arm64 builds as x86-64, and that should obviously continue during the upcoming merge window. The M2 laptop I have is more of a “test builds weekly” type than “continuously”.

Not that I expect this to reveal any issues – the laptop’s builds never revealed any – but I feel happier to have a little more coverage.

Anyway, keep testing, and that obviously means the merge window for 6.10 opens tomorrow. I already have a few dozen pull requests waiting, I appreciate the early risers.

Linus

Source : Linus Torvalds

And you ?

What is your opinion on the subject?

See as well :

Linux 6.9 will boot much faster for systems with large amounts of RAM thanks to a series of updates, especially for those using HugeTLB pages

Linus Torvalds intentionally puts hidden arbitrary tabs in Linux 6.9, after a commit that replaced a tab with a space to make the file easier to read by parsing tools

Rust is a solution to prevent the Linux kernel and maintainers from falling into stagnation, according to Linus Torvalds on the impact of this language in kernel development

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