The new version of the Linux Kernel 5.5 has been released and these are its new features:
After two months of development, Linus Torvalds released the Linux 5 kernel version.5, version in which among the most notable changes, we can find the ability to assign alternative names to network interfaces, the integration of cryptographic functions of the Zinc library, the ability to duplicate more than 2 disks in RAID1 Btrfs, the mechanism for monitoring the status of live patches, the test framework of the kunit drive, the increased performance of the mac80211 wireless stack, the ability to access the root partition through the SMB protocol and much more.
The new version adopted 15505 developer patches, the patch size is 44 MB (changes affected 11781 files, 609208 lines of code were added, 292520 lines were removed). About 44% of all changes in 5.5 are related to device drivers, about 18% of changes are related to updating the code specific to hardware architectures, 12% are connected to the network stack, 4% to file systems and 3% to internal kernel subsystems.
Key new features of the Linux 5.5 Kernel
In this new version of the Linux 5.5 Kernel, support for the xxhash64, blake2b and sha256 checksums for the Btrfs file system has been added.
In the RAID1 implementation, it is possible to mirror data on three (raid1c3) or four (raid1c4) devices (previously mirroring was limited to two devices), allowing you to save data while losing 2 or 3 devices at the same time.
While Ext4 provides the ability to use smaller blocks for encryption (previously, encryption was done only by blocks whose size matched the size of the memory pages (4096)).
In F2FS it implements a file fixation mode with alignment along the 2 MB edge for placement in a completely correct segment, which ensures no further redistribution of this file by the garbage collector.
Another important new feature is the added support for monitoring the status of temperature sensors on NVMe devices using the hwmon API (supporting libsensors and the “sensors” command), access to which does not require elevated privileges (previously, temperature information was reflected in the “smart log”, which was available only to root).
In addition, as part of the main WireGuard VPN integration project, many functions of the Zinc cryptographic library were transferred to the standard Crypto API, including fast implementations of the ChaCha20 and Poly1305 algorithms.
The x86 architecture KVM hypervisor provides the ability to process nested tables of five memory page levels and adds support for XSAVES instructions for AMD processors. For ARM64 processors, the ability to transmit time information was added.
Support for the blake2b hash function has also been added to the cryptographic subsystem, providing very high hash performance while maintaining reliability at the SHA-3 level, as well as a condensed version of Blake2s.
Another significant change in this new version of the Linux 5.5 Kernel is the new mechanism for assigning alternative names to network interfaces, which allows multiple names to be used simultaneously for one interface (including the use of multiple udev templates).
The name size can be up to 128 characters (previously the network interface name was limited to 16 characters).
To attach an additional name, use the “ip link prop add” command (e.g., “ip link prop add enx00e04c361e4c altname someothername”). The implementation is based on attaching additional properties to the interface and can be expanded in the future with other parameters, not limited to alternative names.
Finally, if you want to know more about the complete list of changes included in this new version of the Linux Kernel, you can check it out at the following link: https://lkml.org/lkml/2020/1/26/232
As for the layout of the new version, you can download the code to compile the Kernel from its official website or wait for the compiled packages to be included within the repositories of your distribution.