Two weeks after the release of the Linux 5.8 kernel series, the merge window of the upcoming Linux kernel 5.9 is now officially closed and the first Release Candidate milestone was published today for public testing.
Linus Torvalds announced today the general availability of Linux kernel 5.9 RC1 as the first milestone in the two-month long development cycle, which is available for download right now from the kernel.org website for testers and early adopters.
And it finally looks like things are back to normal again, and Linux kernel 5.9 promises to be a normal release, definitely not as big as Linux kernel 5.8. Things have calmed down during the two-week merge window, but that’s probably because of the summer vacations.
“This merge window felt a lot more normal than 5.8, and all the stats confirm thar it seems to be the usual size,” said Linus Torvalds. “”Normal size” is still obviously pretty big.”
The only major thing that stands out in this first Release Candidate appears to be the numerous AMD GPU updates, which, in fact, means good news for AMD Radeon owners as Linux kernel 5.9 will bring yet another layer of performance improvements, and probably some new features for their beloved graphics cards.
Other than these massive AMD GPU updates, the first Release Candidate of Linux 5.9 consists of about 60% updated and new drivers, which usually translates into better hardware support, and the rest of 40% being a mix of architecture updates, filesystems updates, core networking and tooling work, as well as documentation updates.
Again, this is the first Release Candidate (RC) of many to come for the Linux 5.9 kernel series, so make sure that you don’t install it on a production machine. The final release of the Linux kernel 5.9 is expected sometime in early or mid-October 2020, depending on how many RCs will be released.
Meanwhile, the latest Linux 5.8 kernel has started landing on the stable software repositories of various popular rolling release GNU/Linux distributions, such as Arch Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed, so make sure you update your installations as soon as possible.
Among some upcoming major GNU/Linux distributions that will ship with Linux kernel 5.8, there’s Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” and Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah.
Last updated 1 month ago