Linux Kernel 5.8 Gets First Point Release, It’s Now Ready for Mass Adoption

kernel 5.8 point release


The latest Linux 5.8 kernel series received its first point release today and it now has green light for distribution on production environments.

Released by Linus Torvalds last week, Linux kernel 5.8 is dubbed as one of the biggest kernel releases of all time and brings with it numerous new features, updated hardware support, and several security enhancements.

Highlights of the Linux 5.8 kernel series include Shadow Call Stack and Branch Target Identification (BTI) support for ARM architectures, LZO-RLE compression support in the F2FS file system, a new boot option for specifying an initial RAM disk image, and a new event-notification mechanism.

It also introduces a new faccessat2() system call, inline encryption support for the block layer, support for multiple private instances in the /proc file system, as well as Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) dynamic data race detector for kernel space.

On top of that, there are also mitigations for the Special Register Buffer Data Sampling (SRBDS) a.k.a. CrossTalk hardware vulnerability that affects certain Intel CPUs and a new mechanism for revoking mappings in /dev/mem when a device driver takes over an overlapping memory range.

Today, Linux kernel 5.8.1 was announced by renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman as the first point release in the series. This also changes its status on the kernel.org website from “mainline” to “stable,” and it’s now recommended for mass adoption among GNU/Linux distributions.

Linux kernel 5.8.1 is a quite small update that changes a total of 40 files, with 548 insertions and 186 deletions. It contains mostly bug fixes for various drivers (GPIO, LEDs, SCSI, MTD, PCI, USB, video and sound), as well as the ARM64 and PowerPC architectures.

The Linux 5.8.1 kernel source tarball is available for download right now from kernel.org if you’re a GNU/Linux distribution maintainer and want to distribute the latest and most advanced kernel to your users.

Everyone else should wait patiently for the Linux 5.8 kernel series to arrive in the stable software repositories of their favorite GNU/Linux distributions, that if you’re not using one of the LTS (Long Term Support) kernel branches.

I haven’t yet seen any major distros shipping the Linux 5.8 package in the stable repos, but Arch Linux users could be the first to get it in the coming days. As for upcoming Linux OS releases, Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla), due for release in October, will apparently be powered by Linux kernel 5.8.

Last updated 2 months ago

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