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Linus Torvalds reserved last Sunday (July 31) to announce the final version of the Linux 5.19. Every new release brings fixes, performance tweaks, and new features. Here it is no different. Improvements in power consumption in notebooks with Intel processors and increased support for Apple M1 or M2 chips are among the highlights.
A lot of attention to Intel
Officially, the Linux 5.19 kernel has been in development for almost three months. The new version arrives with the proposal to solve a problem that many users had been finding in notebooks with Intel processor: excessive heating and, consequently, draining the battery.
Still on Intel’s side, the new kernel supports In-Field Scan, a driver that allows detecting problems related to the company’s CPUs (but which should only be useful in servers and corporate applications).
The field of graphics chips has not been left out. Linux 5.19 improves support for Intel Arc (Alchemist) graphics cards and paves the way for integrated GPUs of the next generation of Raptor Lake-P (13th generation) processors.
Developers paid a lot of attention to Intel, but not exclusively. It is worth mentioning that the new kernel version also brings advances in support for future AMD Zen 4 CPUs as well as AMD RDNA 3 GPUs.
Apple Silicon platform support advances
Probably the biggest highlight of Linux 5.19 is the expansion of support for the Apple Silicon platform, that is, for the M1 and M2 chips. In the announcement of the new kernel version, Linus Torvalds himself celebrates this advance, in his own way:
On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did the launch (and write about it) on an arm64 laptop. It’s something I’ve been waiting for a long time, and it’s finally a reality, thanks to the team at Asahi. We’ve had arm64 hardware running Linux for a while, but nothing has really been usable as a development platform until now.
With “arm64”, Torvalds refers to chips based on the 64-bit Arm architecture, which is the case with the Apple Silicon platform. Asahi is a project led by developer Hector Martin (Marcan) that aims precisely to allow Linux to work on Macs with an M1 or M2 chip.
Contributions from the Asahi project began to be incorporated into the Linux kernel in version 5.13. Version 5.19 complements this work by bringing support for the NVMe controller for Apple M1/M2 and the Apple eFuse driver (useful for communication via PCI Express and USB-C, for example).
Other new features include trackpoint support for Lenovo ThinkPad X12 laptops, a Wacom driver for three-button pens, Zstd-compressed firmware, and improved compatibility with Keychron wireless mechanical keyboards.
Linux 5.19: Availability
The final version of the Linux kernel 5.19 is now available for download. But its arrival on Linux distributions depends on the update schedule of these projects. Check the website and communication channels of the distribution you use for more details on this.
It should be noted that the next kernel version should be released by December, but not under the number 5.20. Torvalds made it clear that he intends to release the next version as Linux 6.0.
With information: OMG! Ubuntu!, Phoronix.