IPFire Linux Firewall Distro Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS

IPFire Linux 5.15

Michael Tremer of the IPFire Project announced today the general availability of IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 as a new maintenance release of this hardened open-source Linux firewall distribution, the first to be powered by Linux kernel 5.15 LTS.

IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 is here less than a month after the Core Update 161 release as the last update of the year and also the first update to be powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series.

Until now, IPFire was powered by the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, since mid-August 2021, but even if Linux kernel 5.10 LTS is supported until the end of 2026, the devs decided to move to Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, which is supported only until October 2023, since it offers better hardware support and some cool new features.

For example, Linux kernel 5.15 LTS introduces a fully functional NTFS file system implementation, an in-kernel SMB3 server, realtime preemption locking, support for migrating memory pages to persistent memory, support for the pre-allocated trace mechanism in the IOAM subsystem, support for the Management Component Transport Protocol (MCTP) protocol, and out-of-band data support for the Unix-domain sockets.

“We have continued our work to take advantage of improvements in the kernel that help to decrease CPU usage when forwarding large numbers of packets,” said Michael Tremer. “In certain environments, this enables IPFire to significantly more throughput and lower latency since more CPU resources are available when needed.”

IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 is not only the last release of the year, but also the last release to support the i586 (32-bit) architecture as the devs want to focus their efforts on improving support for architectures that are used by the masses. Those who have IPFire installed on machines powered by 32 bit Intel-compatible processors are urged to backup their files and perform a fresh installation on a supported architecture.

Among other changes, the IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 release further improves the IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), adds a new “help” option to the Web UI to redirect users to the right page on the IPFire Wiki, adds IPFire Location to the new “DROP” category, improves OpenVPN and Dynamic DNS support, and updates the installer to correctly create EFI boot entries on all BIOSes.

Of course, various components and add-ons have been updated to the their latest versions. These include BIND 9.16.22, GNU Bison 3.8.2, GNU Coreutils 9.0, dhcpcd 9.4.1, Gawk 5.1.1, Meson 0.59.2, OpenVPN 2.4.4, OpenSSH 8.8p1, Suricata 5.0.8, Unbound 1.13.2, xtables-addons 3.18, ClamAV 0.104.1, Postfix 3.6.3, and Tor

Image credits: IPFire Project (edited by Marius Nestor)

Last updated 2 years ago

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