Linux Hardware Reviews, Open-Source Benchmarks & Linux Performance

There Are Many Changes To Look Forward To With The Linux 5.10 Kernel

The Linux 5.9 kernel is expected for release this evening which will in turn kick off the Linux 5.10 merge window for the next two weeks. As we've already been closely monitoring the various "-next" development trees in recent weeks of material building up for this next cycle, here is a look at a portion of what's to come for this late 2020 kernel.

6 Hours Ago - Linux Kernel - Linux 5.10 Features
Arm Memory Tagging Extension Ready For Linux 5.10

While the Linux 5.9 kernel isn't even being released until later today, the ARM64 architectural changes have already been mailed in ahead of the opening of the Linux 5.10 merge window.

9 Hours Ago - Arm - Arm MTE
Intel Continues Prepping PKS For The Linux Kernel (Protection Keys for Supervisor)

Intel engineers continue working on "Protection Keys for Supervisor" support for the Linux kernel as a feature coming to a future generation of processors (presumably Sapphire Rapids). The initial users of this PKS support will be helping to protect persistent memory as well as adding safeguards to Trusted Keys within the Linux kernel.

16 Hours Ago - Intel - Intel Protection Keys Supervisor
Intel Media SDK 20.3 Released With AV1 Decode, Rocket Lake + DG1/SG1 Support

Just over one week ago Intel released the Media Driver 2020.3 with Gen12/Xe AV1 decode and other improvements for their quarterly feature release of this open-source video acceleration driver. They have also now released their adjoining Media SDK 20.3 open-source update.

10 October 02:39 PM EDT - Intel - Intel Media SDK 20.3
KDE Plasma 5.21 To Bring Multi-GPU Support For Wayland

KDE developers have been busy not only putting the finishing touches on the soon to be released Plasma 5.20 but also early feature work continues on what will be Plasma 5.21.

10 October 11:45 AM EDT - KDE - Multi-GPU KDE Plasma Wayland
AMD Sends Out Latest SFH Linux Driver Patches

It was in January that AMD finally published an open-source Linux driver for their Sensor Fusion Hub used by AMD Ryzen laptops for various sensor functionality. As we approach the end of the year this driver still hasn't been mainlined yet but a new revision was sent out on Friday.

10 October 08:49 AM EDT - AMD - Sensor Fusion Hub
RADV ACO Lands NGG Geometry Shader Support

Adding to the growing list of Mesa 20.3 features is now RADV ACO supporting NGG GS. Or rather, the Radeon Vulkan driver with the ACO back-end now supports geometry shaders with Next-Gen Geometry (NGG) as found on newer AMD GPUs.

10 October 06:27 AM EDT - Mesa - NGG GS
Wine-Staging 5.19 Adds Windows.Networking.Connectivity

Following yesterday's release of Wine 5.19, the developers responsible for the Wine-Staging have issued their corresponding update for this codebase that adds 600+ patches currently undergoing testing.

10 October 03:48 AM EDT - WINE - Helps Some Games / Apps
The Current Intel Coffee Lake Mitigation Performance Impact With Linux 5.9

Of the many new features in Linux 5.9 with its debut set for this weekend, one of the performance-related changes is Intel FSGSBASE support finally being mainlined. A half-decade after the Linux patches first appeared for this feature present in Intel CPUs going back to Ivy Bridge, the mainline kernel is now patched for this feature that can help out I/O and other context switching heavy workloads. Given many of the same workloads were negatively impacted by the CPU security mitigations of recent years, here is a look at the current mitigated vs. unmitigated performance difference on the Linux 5.9 kernel with an Intel Core i9 9900K CPU for reference on how the mitigation impact is on recent versions of the Linux kernel.

9 October 02:07 PM EDT - Software
Paragon Sends Out Latest NTFS Read-Write Linux Driver Patches

Back in August was the big surprise of file-system driver vendor Paragon Software wanting to mainline their NTFS driver into the Linux kernel that is much more advanced than the existing NTFS Linux driver. While not merged yet, on Friday the latest version was sent out for review.

9 October 10:45 AM EDT - Linux Storage - NTFS Linux Driver
KDE Plasma Mobile Has Been Making Great Progress

Not only is the Plasma 5.20 desktop shining and more Wayland improvements and other enhancements queuing for Plasma 5.21, but the Plasma Mobile effort is also beginning to shine.

9 October 09:00 AM EDT - KDE - KDE Plasma Mobile
The Linux Kernel Preparing To Take Advantage Of The Intel DSA / ENQCMD In Sapphire Rapids

Expected with next year's Intel Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs is the Intel DSA as the Data Streaming Accelerator for high performance data movement and transformation operations. Since the end of 2019 there have been Linux patches surfacing for bringing up the DSA support and now as we roll into 2021 the Linux kernel looks to begin making use of the new capabilities.

9 October 06:46 AM EDT - Intel - ENQCMD
AMD Reportedly In Talks To Acquire Xilinx

While AMD is providing great pressure against Intel in the CPU space, it looks like AMD could be soon going up against them in the FPGA space too.

9 October 05:57 AM EDT - AMD - AMD + Xilinx
GIMP 2.10.22 Released With AVIF Image Support

While GIMP 3.0 development drags on, the GIMP 2.10.x stable series continues seeing new and interesting point releases. Out today is GIMP 2.10.22 that now supports the AV1-based AVIF image format for import and export.

7 October 03:32 PM EDT - Free Software - GIMP 2.10.22
AMDGPU Linux Kernel Driver Support Posted For The "Dimgrey Cavefish"

At the end of September there were Mesa patches posted for the "Dimgrey Cavefish" at the same time as also posting VanGogh APU support for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. The AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support has now been posted for the Dimgrey Cavefish.

7 October 12:44 PM EDT - Radeon - Linux + Dimgrey Cavefish
NVIDIA 455.28 Released As Stable Linux Driver For RTX 3080/3090

Last month marked the release of the 455.23.04 beta driver for NVIDIA Linux users in providing support for the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards. The NVIDIA 455.28 Linux driver is out today as their first official 455 series release and also stable RTX 3080/3090 Ampere support.

7 October 09:22 AM EDT - NVIDIA - NVIDIA 455.28 Linux Driver