Linus Torvalds Announces First Linux Kernel 6.4 Release Candidate

The final release of Linux kernel 6.4 is expected on late June or early July 2023.
Linux 6.4

Two weeks have passed since the release of Linux kernel 6.3 and the opening of the merge window for the next kernel series, Linux 6.4, and now, Linus Torvalds released the first RC (Release Candidate) milestone for public testing.

The two-week merge window for Linux kernel 6.4 is now closed and the first Release Candidate is available to download from Linus Torvalds’ git tree or the website for early adopters, system integrators, and bleeding-edge users who want to get a glimpse of what鈥檚 about to be included in the final release.

Apart from various new features like Intel LAM (Liniar Address Masking) support, user events for tracing, or the ability for the machine keyring used for Machine Owner Keys (MOK) to store only CA-enforced keys, Linux 6.4 will come with greater hardware support through new and updated drivers. Unfortunately, the long-awaited Shadow Stack hardware security feature didn’t make it in this release.

Linus Torvalds writes in his announcement post that “the one feature that didn’t make it was the x86 shadow stack code. That side was probably a bit unlucky, in that it came in as I was looking at x86 issues anyway, and so I looked at it quite a bit, and had enough reservations that I asked for a couple of fairly big re-organizations.”

Highlights include rumble support for the latest Xbox controllers, Apple M2 CPU PMU support, Wi-Fi 7 (EHT) mesh support, improved support for Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms, a new driver for Novatek touch controllers, support for the Lenovo Yoga Book X90F 2-in-1 tablet, Hyper-V VTL mode support, and Wi-Fi support for Apple M1 Pro/Max devices.

Linux kernel 6.4 also looks to bring various thermal improvements in the Mediatek driver, enhancements of very old PCI sound cards, sound support for NVIDIA systems with MAX9809x and RT5631 codecs, generic support for all Kye tablets, support for the Logitech G935 wireless 7.1 surround sound gaming headphones, and PPIN support for Intel’s 5th Gen Xeon “Emerald Rapids” server processors.

New drivers are also present in Linux 6.4 for the StarFive JH71x0 temperature sensor and the StarFive JH7110 RISC-V SoC, Acbel FSB032 power supply, Aquacomputer Aquastream XT pump, and the ROG STRIX Z390-F GAMING motherboard.

Other than that, there is a new Qualcomm QAIC DRM accelerated driver for their Cloud AI, KVM support for virtual NMIs on x86 AMD, fbdev emulation for GEM DMA drivers, Qualcomm Inline Crypto Engine support, support for new MMIO based models (T2 Macs), Intel Sierra Forest EDAC support, SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) support for Fair/Capacity and Weighted Fair Queueing (WFQ) network schedulers, better BIG TCP performance, and a new BPF netfilter program type.

The AMDGPU graphics driver got initial NBIO7.9, GC 9.4.3, GFXHUB 1.2, MMHUB 1.8 support, initial DC FAM infrastructure, sysfs nodes for secondary VCN clocks, as well as capped/uncapped workload handling for supported APUs. Moreover, the Mediatek DRM driver received 10-bit overlay support, the Rockchip DRM driver got 4K support, and Collabora’s Panfrost driver now supports Mali MT81xx devices.

The final release of Linux kernel 6.4 is expected to hit the streets in late June or early July 2023. Depending on how many Release Candidate versions will be published, it could arrive on June 25th or on July 2nd.

Until then, you want to take the first Linux kernel 6.4 Release Candidate for a test drive on your personal computer. However, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, so don鈥檛 install or use it on a production machine!

Last updated 12 months ago

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