Linux Kernel 5.13 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

Linux Kernel 5.13

The Linux kernel 5.13 series has been officially released today by Linus Torvalds as the latest and greatest Linux kernel branch packed full of new features, updated drivers, and improvements for better hardware support.

Two months in the works, Linux kernel 5.13 is here with initial support for Apple’s M1 processor, support for the Landlock security module for creating safe security sandboxes to mitigate the security impact of various flaws in user space apps, the ability to handle ASN.1 trusted keys, and initial support for the AMD Radeon “Aldebaran” GPU series.

Linux 5.13 also introduces initial FreeSync HDMI support for AMD GPUs, a new “big pcluster” feature for the EROFS file system to greatly improve compression performance, ACPI 6.4 support, support for the ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm) verification, as well as eBPF and KFENCE support for 32-bit PowerPC systems.

The exFAT file system has been improved once again with the ability to inform the storage device about unused blocks through a new FITRIM ioctl() command. On the other hand, Linux’s most popular file system EXT4 gained support for handling filesystems that use case folding and encryption, along with the ability to overwrite directory entries when deleting files.

Among other noteworthy features, there’s a new quota-related system call, initial file system shrinking support for the XFS file system, kexec support for the RISC-V architecture, a new miscellaneous cgroup controller for tracking and limiting the usage of scalar resources, and a new SMB3 mount option called rasize= that lets you increase the size of the readahead window for improved performance.

Of course, Linux kernel 5.13 also comes with numerous new drivers to enable support for various hardware, such as Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 Tablet Thin keyboard, Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, or Amazon’s Luna game controller, and there’s also driver support for AMD NAVI GPUs and new virtio drivers for some audio devices and Bluetooth controllers.

“5.13 overall is actually fairly large. In fact, it’s one of the bigger 5.x releases, with over 16k commits (over 17k if you count merges), from over 2k developers,” said Linus Torvalds.

Linux kernel 5.13 is available for download right now from the website for system integrators and those brave enough to compile their own kernel. Everyone else will have to wait for the new kernel series to land in the stable software repositories of their favorite GNU/Linux distribution to upgrade.

Last updated 3 years ago

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