Arch Linux’s ISO Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 5.9, Offers New Accessibility Features

Arch Linux Kernel 5.9

The Arch Linux installation image has been refreshed today and it’s the first to be powered by the latest Linux kernel 5.9 series and also offer new accessibility features.

If you’ve been waiting to install the famous Arch Linux distribution with the latest Linux 5.9 kernel series, the wait is finally over. Arch Linux’s November 2020 ISO release is here and it’s the first to be powered by Linux kernel 5.9, a major branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements for better hardware support.

Among some of the highlights of Linux kernel 5.9, there’s a new rescue= mount option and various performance improvements for the Btrfs file system, support for the x86 FSGSBASE instructions, support for the Unicore architecture, as well as Zstandard (Zsdt) compression support for building x86 kernels.

Other interesting changes include improved management of anonymous memory, capacity awareness for the deadline scheduler, support for Chrome OS embedded-controller regulators, support for Intel “Keem Bay” Movidius VPUs, and schedutil as default CPU frequency governor for ARM and AArch64 (ARM64) architectures.

Besides shipping with the Linux 5.9 kernel series (version 5.9.2 is included), the November 2020 release of Arch Linux’s ISO installation image is also the first to come with new accessibility features that help those with special needs to install the powerful GNU/Linux distribution on their computers.

The first accessibility feature is visible in the second bootloader menu item, allowing screen reader users to boot the Arch Linux ISO on BIOS with speech recognition. This allows you to install Arch Linux or perform system maintenance with speech support.

In addition, the Arch Linux ISO’s bootloader now has a default timeout of 15 seconds instead of 10 to allow blind users to select the menu item of their choice. Of course, if an arrow key is pressed until the timeout expires, the timer is stopped, otherwise the ISO will boot automatically if no key is pressed or option selected.

You can download the November 2020 release of the Arch Linux ISO right now from the official website or by using the direct download link below. Existing Arch Linux users don’t need to download the new ISO image to keep their installations up to date, but only to run the sudo pacman -Syu command from time to time.

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