GNU Linux-Libre 5.14 Kernel Arrives for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs

GNU Linux-Libre 5.10

Alexandre Oliva announced today the release and general availability of the GNU Linux-libre 5.14 kernel for those seeking 100% freedom for their GNU/Linux computers.

Based on the recently released Linux 5.14 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre 5.14 kernel is here to clean up the i915 Intel OpenGL graphics driver, clean and move the drivers for sp8870 and other av7110 cards in the upstream tree, adjusts the cleaning up script of the Renesas xHCI driver, and removes a r8188eu file.

It also adjust the cleaning up of the btqca driver since it was renamed upstream, cleans up a dts file that contained a blob-loading feature for a new Qualcomm ARM64 variant, disables another blog-loading feature from a new Emulex Fibre Channel Target driver, and cleans up new blob names from the adreno, amdgpu, and btrtl drivers.

On top of all that, the GNU Linux-libre 5.14 kernel also cleans up a firmware patch for vs6624 sensors and some microcode relocation patches for PowerPC 8xx, after a report from a user that there might be some potential non-free code in the GNU Linux-libre kernel, according to the mailing list announcement.

“Both are encoded as arrays of numbers in upstream Linux releases. The latter had long seemed suspicious to me, but I had assumed those who started cleaning up Linux before I inherited Linux-libre had good reasons to leave it in. The former was entirely my own mistake,” said Alexandre Oliva.

Of course, the new GNU Linux-libre kernel is packed with the same new features and improvements as the upstream Linux 5.14 kernel, but it cleans up many of the newly added drivers to provide you with a 100% free kernel that doesn’t include any proprietary code.

Highlights of the Linux 5.14 kernel include new core scheduling functionality to better protect your Linux computer against some Spectre vulnerabilities, burstable CFS bandwidth controller, new mechanism for better controlling resource limits within user namespaces, and a new PCI-over-virtio driver for supporting PCI drivers in user-mode.

Linux kernels 5.14 also features an I/O priority controller for control groups designed for managing the priority of block-I/O requests generated by the members of each group, as well as a new rate limiter for the split-lock detection feature on the x86 architecture for sleeping processes that create a split lock.

If you want to build a 100% free GNU/Linux computer, you can download and install the GNU Linux-libre 5.14 kernel right now from the official website. You can install it on virtually any free GNU/Linux distribution, but the devs provide ready-to-use binary packages for Debian-based and Red Hat-based distros.

Image credits: Alexandre Oliva

Last updated 2 years ago

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