GNU Linux-Libre 5.16 Kernel Released for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs

GNU Linux-Libre 5.16

Alexandre Oliva announced today the release and general availability of the GNU Linux-libre 5.16 kernel for those who seek 100% freedom for their GNU/Linux computers.

Based on the Linux 5.16 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre 5.16 kernel is here to introduce an analogous firmware_reject_builtin function for the new firmware_request_builtin call in Linux kernel 5.16, as well as to unify the various separate shell functions used by the cleanup scripts to disable request_firmware and the _nowarn variant, and extended them to also clean up the _builtin variant.

In addition, the GNU Linux-libre 5.16 kernel removes blob names from various new drivers added in Linux kernel 5.16, including the mt7921s and rtw89 (8852a) Wi-Fi drivers, the ili210x touchscreen driver, the i.MX dsp remoteproc driver, qdsp6 audio driver, and the devicetree files for AArch64 (ARM64) qcom variants.

Apart from these changes to make Linux kernel 5.16 free of proprietary code, the GNU Linux-libre 5.16 kernel includes the same new features and improvements as upstream, such as the futex2 kernel system call for a faster Wine gaming experience, support for Intel’s Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) 64-bit programming paradigm for servers, as well as a new fanotify event type for file system health reporting.

Linux kernel 5.16 also introduces support for zoned namespace to the Btrfs file system, adds Automatic Multicast Tunneling (AMT) support, updates Zstd (Zstandard) compression, adds a new fragment allocation mode mount option for the F2FS file system, and supports Snapdragon 690 processors.

Those of you who want to build a 100% free GNU/Linux computer that doesn’t include proprietary drivers or code, can download and install the GNU Linux-libre 5.16 kernel right now from the official website.

The GNU Linux-libre kernel can be installed on virtually any GNU/Linux distribution, but the developers also provide ready-to-use binary packages for Debian-based and Red Hat-based distributions.

Image credits: GNU Linux-libre

Last updated 2 years ago

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