Linux Kernel 6.2 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

This is a short-lived branch that will be supported with bug and security fixes for only a couple of months.
Linux Kernel 6.2

Linus Torvalds announced today the release and general availability of Linux 6.2, a major new kernel series that comes with new and updated drivers, improved hardware support, new features, and much more.

More than two months in the works, Linux kernel 6.2 is here to introduce protective load balancing (PLB) for the IPv6 stack, support for the Intel “asynchronous exit notification” mechanism, a new FineIBT control-flow integrity mechanism for x86, and further improvements to the new Rust infrastructure.

“Maybe it’s not a sexy LTS release like 6.1 ended up being, but all those regular pedestrian kernels want some test love too.” – Linus Torvalds

Linux 6.2 also comes with a new tool called RV (Runtime Verification) that can control the operation of the runtime verification subsystem, a new framework to handle compute-acceleration devices, support for user-defined BPF objects, as well as a new sysctl knob for controlling the way the split lock detector works when in “warn” mode on x86.

On top of that, there’s a new qspinlock implementation for the PowerPC architecture, support for ID-mapped mounts and parallel decompression control for the SquashFS file system, improved Btrfs RAID5 and RAID6 implementation, and the ability to enable or disable software-implemented shadow stacks on AArch64 (ARM64) during boot.

Furthermore, the LoongArch architecture received support for ftrace, hibernation, suspend, and stack protection, the zram device now offers better compression rates, the fscrypt mechanism now supports the SM4 encryption algorithm, and the memory-naming feature has been extended to allow the naming of shared anonymous memory areas.

Other changes include new mount options for the NTFS3 file system, the ability to build the kernel without NFSv2 support, support for the F2FS file system to write data to a file and truncate it into a single atomic operation, the ability to enable a tracing trigger at boot time, and a new user-space API to control I/O memory-management units.

Security-wise, Linux 6.2 improves the Landlock security module to allow it to control file truncation operations, implements faster mitigation of the Retbleed speculative execution attack on Intel CPUs, as well as the ability to place an upper limit of 10,000 on the number of times the kernel is allowed to oops before it reboots or panics.

Of course, there are also new and updated drivers for supporting newer hardware. Worth mentioning here is a new TDX guest driver that exposes IOCTL interfaces to service Intel TDX guest requests, improved support for NVMe devices, DCN support on ARM, new GC 11.x firmware versions, GFX preemption support for GFX9, Ampere acceleration support, NVA3 backlight support, and Qualcomm SM6115 support.

Linux 6.2 also adds support for swap control and command keys on Apple keyboards, basic support for the Sony DualShock4 USB controller with buttons and sticks, as well as support for the MediaTek MT6370 I2C Sub Power Management Chips as seen in the Orange Pi 4G-IoT open-source single-board computer.

You can download Linux kernel 6.2 right now from the website or from Linus Torvalds’ kernel source Git tree if you fancy compiling it yourself on your GNU/Linux distribution. Please note that this is a short-lived branch that will be supported with bug and security fixes for only a couple of months.

If you don’t know or don’t want to compile the kernel, which is not an easy task for most Linux users, I highly recommend waiting for the new kernel version to arrive in the stable software repositories of your favorite distro before upgrading.

Last updated 1 year ago

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