Linux Kernel 5.17 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

Linux Kernel 5.17

Linus Torvalds today announced the release and general availability of Linux 5.17 as the latest and greatest kernel series for Linux-based operating systems adding new features and improving hardware support.

A little over two months after the release of Linux kernel 5.16, the Linux 5.17 kernel series is here to introduce even more new features, such as a new “AMD P-State” subsystem for future AMD CPUs that provides a performance boost, a revamped fscache subsystem, as well as a new “page-table check” feature to better protect your GNU/Linux system from certain threats by detecting some types of corruption and automatically shutting down the system.

Linux kernel 5.17 also adds recursive support for id-mapped mounts, adds support for KCSAN (kernel concurrency sanitizer) for the AArch64 (ARM64) architecture, adds support for a new event type called FAN_RENAME to the fanotify subsystem, adds support for KFENCE, which can now detect missing memory barriers, to 32-bit ARM architectures, and adds a new syntax that would benefit Ceph file system mounts.

Among other noteworthy changes, Linux 5.17 introduces boot-time memtest memory tester to the m68k architecture, adds a field to store names for private anonymous memory in an attempt to optimize memory use in apps, introduces an alternative way to implement loops in BPF programs, adds support for tracking forced-idle time to the core scheduling feature, and adds support for offloading traffic-control actions on network devices.

There’s also a new reference-count tracking infrastructure for tracking down the source of reference-count bugs in the networking subsystem, a new “converged security and management engine” module for communication with the Intel Management Engine (ME) via Wi-Fi, support for booting user-mode Linux with a devicetree blob, as well as support for the MCTP (Management Component Transport Protocol) for serial devices.

Last but not least, Linux kernel 5.17 brings a new gpio-sim module for simulating GPIO chips, switches the random-number generator to the BLAKE2 cryptographic hash function for extra security and a performance boost, adds the ability to decompress kernel modules within the kernel itself, extends FUSE file system’s initialization flags, and adds support for passing USB devices to Xen guests in the Xen USB virtual host driver.

As usual, numerous drivers have been updated and new ones were added to offer you the best possible hardware support for your GNU/Linux distribution. Noteworthy additions include support for AMD Renoir audio DSPs, Intel’s new “platform firmware runtime update” driver for rebootless updating of parts of the system firmware, and much more.

“Of course, this means that the merge window for 5.18 will be open starting tomorrow, and I already have about a dozen pull requests waiting in my inbox. I appreciate the early pull requests: it gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling of “this was all ready in plenty of time”,” said Linus Torvalds. “Judging by the statistics in linux-next, it looks like 5.18 will be a bit bigger than 5.17 was, but hopefully without some of the drama.”

Without further ado, you can download Linux kernel 5.17 right now from the kernel.org website if you’re a Linux OS maintainer or an advanced user who knows how to compile software from sources. Regular users should wait for this new kernel version to arrive in the stable software repositories of their GNU/Linux distributions before updating.

Last updated 6 months ago