Linus Torvalds Announces First Linux 5.16 Kernel Release Candidate

Linux 5.16

The two-week merge window for Linux kernel 5.16, the next major Linux kernel release, closes today, and, as expected, it ends with the availability for public testing of the first Release Candidate.

While Linux kernel 5.15 is shy to appear in the stable software repositories of some of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions these days (hint: it just hit Arch Linux’s repos on Friday), development on the next major kernel series, Linux 5.16, is ramping up, and now it’s time to go out and test the first RC (Release Candidate).

Linus Torvalds just announced today the very first Release Candidate milestone of Linux kernel 5.16, which promises to be a great release for Linux gamers as it adds Collabora’s FUTEX2 system call that brings better performance in modern games with more efficient CPU utilization when using Valve’s Proton Wine-based compatibility tool for Steam Play that lets you play many Windows games on Linux.

“Using futexes in our Wine use case reduced the CPU utilization by 4% for the game Beat Saber and by 1.5% for the game Shadow of Tomb Raider, both running over Proton, when compared to the eventfd interface,” explains Collabora developer Gabriel Krisman Bertazi.

Other than that, Linux kernel 5.16 doesn’t look like a huge release, but it’s not as small a Linux kernel 5.15 was, according to Linus Torvalds. GPU, networking, sound and staging work stands out in this release, but there’s also much-improved hardware support and the usual bug and security fixes.

The final release of Linux kernel 5.16 is expected in early January 2022.

Considering the fact that the Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations will probably have a negative impact in the development of Linux kernel 5.16, we’re looking at January 9th as the final release date, but that also depends on the total number of Release Candidate milestones published during the entire development cycle.

Until then, if you want to help the kernel developers find and fix bugs in Linux kernel 5.16, go ahead and download the first Release Candidate from the website. However, please keep in mind that this is an early development version, NOT suitable for use in production machines.

Last updated 2 years ago

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