Linux 5.8 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.8:

So I considered making an rc8 all the way to the last minute, but decided it’s not just worth waiting another week when there aren’t  any big looming worries around.

Because despite the merge window having been very large, there really hasn’t been anything scary going on in the release candidates. Yeah, we had some annoying noise with header file dependencies this week, but that’s not a new annoyance, and it’s also not the kind of subtle bug that keeps me up at night worrying about it.

It did reinforce how nice it would be if we had some kind of tooling support to break nasty header file dependencies automatically, but if wishes were horses.. Maybe some day we’ll have some kind of SAT-solver for symbol dependencies that can handle all our different architectures and configurations, but right now it’s just a manual pain that occasionally bites us.


Aside from silly header file noise, the last week was mostly dominated by the networking pull, which accounts for about half of the changes (mellanox drivers and selftests stand out, but there’s other smaller things in there too). Some RCU fixes stand out.

Outside of the networking stuff, it’s mostly various small driver fixes (gpu, rdma, sound and pinctrl being much of it), and some minor architecture noise (arm, x86, powerpc). But it’s all fairly small.

So there it is, a shiny new kernel. Give it a whirl before all you people start sending me the pull requests for the merge window, which I’ll start handling tomorrow..

Linux 5.7 added support for a better exFAT implementation, thermal pressure in the task scheduler, and removed the 80-column warning for developers, among many other changes.

Linux 5.8 Release

Some of the highlights for Linux 5.8 release include:

  • Basic support for IBM POWER10 Processor
  • Support for Inline Encryption hardware – Inline Encryption hardware – part of the storage device – allows software to specify an encryption context (an encryption key, crypto algorithm, data unit num, data unit size, etc.) along with a data transfer request to a storage device, and the inline encryption hardware will use that context to en/decrypt the data.
  • The Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) is a dynamic data race detector for kernel space. Key priorities in KCSAN’s design are lack of false positives, scalability, and simplicity. KCSAN uses compile-time instrumentation to instrument memory accesses and it is supported in both GCC and Clang. Check out the documentation for details.

    Linux 5.8 Updates for the Arm architecture

  • ARM64 – Shadow Call Stack and Branch Target Identification for improved security – Generic support for Clang’s Shadow Call Stack on ARM64, which uses a shadow stack to protect function return control flow from buffer overruns on the main stack.
  • Allwinner
    • Allwinner A64, A83T, H3, H5, and H6 – Message Box
    • Allwinner H6 – DVFS & IOMMU
    • New board – Olimex A20-OLinuXino-LIME-eMMC SBC
  • Rockchip
    • Added Rockchip RK3326
    • Media – new driver for Rockchip Video Decoder IP
    • SPI – Slave mode support for the Rockchip drivers
    • New device – Odroid-GO Advance game console (RK3326)
  • Amlogic
    • Meson PCIe controller driver – Don’t use FAST_LINK_MODE to set up link
    • MMC Host – Add driver and DT doc for the Amlogic Meson SDHC controller
    • Clock driver
      • Meson8b: Updates and fixup HDMI and video clocks + fixup reset polarity
      • Meson gx and g12: fix GPU glitch-free mux switch
    • DTS Updates – eth PHY and USB PHY updates
    • ARM64 DTS updates
      • audio: support for GX-family SoCs
      • audio: internal DAC support
      • use the new USB control driver for GXL and GXM
    • New boards – Smartlabs SML-5442TW TV box (S905D), ODROID-C4 SBC, Beelink GT-King Pro TV box
  • Samsung
    • SoC drivers changes – Fix and minor cleanup of Exynos5422 DMC (Dynamic Memory Controller)
    • Defconfig changes
      • Enable drivers for Exynos3250 Rinato Bluetooth
      • Build WiFi mac80211 framework as module so it will get loaded the
        same time as regulatory data.
    • DTS Updates
      • Enable WiFi and Bluetooth in multiple boards,
      • Add new features to S5Pv210-based Aries family of mobile phones
        (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S): necessary configuration for suspend, audio
        support, USB mux, touch keys, panel, i2c-gpio adapters, FM radio, ADC,
      • Many minor fixes (e.g. GPIO polarity, interrupts).
    • New device – Samsung Galaxy S2 “GT-I9100” phone (Exynos 4210)
  • Qualcomm
    • Driver updates for Linux 5.8:
      • Clock driver – Add support for Qualcomm’s MSM8939 Generic Clock Controller; add some GPU, NPU, and UFS clks to Qualcomm SM8150 driver
      • Pinctrl – Add Qualcomm SM8250 support
      • Large set of cleanups, bug fixes, general improvements and documentation fixes for the RPMH driver
    • DTS updates:
      • Adds SCM firmware node for IPQ806x
      • Fixes the high-resolution timer for IPQ4019
      • Samsung Galaxy S5 gains regulators, eMMC and USB
    • DTS ARM64 updates:
      • SDM845 – Defines the IPA network accelerator and the CCI camera
        control bus, it defines the required UFS reset and adds WiFi for the
        Lenovo Yoga C630 and defines GPIO pin names and adds OV8856 and OC7251 camera nodes for DB845c.
      • SC7180 – Adds GPU support, defines the modem remoteproc, adds the
        IPA network accelerator, Coresight and ETM support, adds cpuidle low
        power states and updates the CPUs’ compatible.
      • SM8250 – Adds regulators from the PM8150, PM8150L and PM8009 and adds voltage corners, it defines the nodes for UFS PHY and controller and finally corrects a typo in the PDC node to make SPMI functional.
      • MSM8916 – I2C1 and I2C5 are defined, a node for the CCI camera control interface bus is added and Coresight is disabled by default to match some product configurations. The Samsung A3U gained display support and Samsung A5U gained touchscreen support.
      • MSM8996  – Describes the power supply chain for the GPU, the
        CCI camera control interface bus is added and the DB820c has the
        regulators of the secondary PMIC defined.
      • QCS404 – USB PHYs and controllers are defined and wired up for the
      • Support for SDM630/SDM660 platform
    • ARM64 defconfig updates
      • SM8250 & SC7180 GCC clock drivers
      • SC7180 TLMM pinctrl driver
      • IPA and RMNET drivers
      • CCI, camera subsystem and camera clock drivers
      • Removes the now deprecated GLINK_SSR entry.
    • New devices – Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 phone (Qualcomm SDM630)
  • MediaTek
    • Mediatek MT6765 clock support
    • Add support for MediaTek MT6358 PMIC and Mediatek MT6360 PMIC
    • Add support for MediaTek Ethernet MAC – Support for the STAR Ethernet Controller present on MediaTek SoCs from the MT8* family.
    • Add support for the MediaTek MT6358 RTC
    • MediaTek MT7623 SoC – Add device tree bindings for Mali-450 GPU
    • New devices – Elm/Hana Chromebook laptops (MT8173)
  • Other new Arm hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • Aspeed – ast2500 based BMCs in Facebook x86 “Yosemite V2” and YADRO OpenPower P9 “Nicole”
    • Marvell – Kirkwood based Check Point L-50 router
    • Microchip – SAMA5D2 “Industrial Connectivity Platform” reference
    • NXP – NXP i.MX8m based Beacon i.MX8m-Mini SoM development kit
    • Realtek – RTD1195, RTD1395 and RTD1619 NAS + Android Set-top-box SoC plus “Horseradish”, “Lion Skin” and “Mjolnir” reference platforms, as well as the Mele X1000 and Xnano X5 set-top-boxes and the Banana Pi BPi-M4 single-board computer.
    • Renesas – RZ/G1H (r8a7742) 32-bit industrial SoC and iWave Systems iW-RainboW-G21D Qseven-RZG1H board/SoM
    • Socionext – Uniphier based Akebi96 SBC
    •  STMicro – Octavo OSDMP15x based Linux Automation MC-1 development board; STM32MP1 based Stinger96 single-board computer and IoT Box
    • Texas Instruments — TI Keystone based K2G Evaluation board; TI AM5729 based Beaglebone-AI development board

MIPS Changes for Linux 5.8

There’s still some activity for MIPS processors:

  • Added support for MIPSr5 and P5600 cores
  • Converted Loongson PCI driver into a PCI host driver using the
    generic PCI framework
  • Added emulation of CPUCFG command for Loogonson64 cpus
  • Removed of LASAT, PMC MSP71xx, and NEC MARKEINS/EMMA
  • ioremap cleanup
  • fix for a race between two threads faulting the same page
  • various cleanups and fixes

Linux 5.8 RISC-V updates

  • Remainder of the code necessary to support the Kendryte K210:
    • Support for building device trees into the kernel, as the K210
      doesn’t have a bootloader that provides one
    • A K210 device tree and the associated defconfig update
    • Support for skipping PMP initialization on systems that trap on PMP accesses rather than treating them as WARL
  • Support for KGDB
  • Improvements to text patching
  • Some cleanups to the SiFive L2 cache driver

You’ll find the full changelog (commit messages only) generated with the command git log v5.7..v5.8-rc7 --stat here. You could also read Linux 5.8 changelog on KernelNewbies website.

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7 Replies to “Linux 5.8 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V Architectures”

  1. Seems Allwinner/Sunxi is nearly there, Rockchip is getting closer.
    Amlogic is steady but slow, probably by 5.29 it will be complete 😉
    If Qualcomm wouldn’t kick out so many new SOCs every other month with that speed mainline could catch up
    Mtk is still kind of the same…

    My 2ct 😉

    1. Cannot talk about it’s Linux support but the H616 seems a overheating disaster in TV boxes. Some refuse to review the H616 boxes anymore.

        1. Probably the SDK is as messed up as H3’s that one was also considered a hob plate until the community figured out how to properly tame it and now its a very reasonable SOC

          1. One recent reviewer found a H616 Pendoo X11 Pro Hardware hitting 100°C in use!

          2. No SDK, No Datasheet, No User Manual for any recent
            Allwinner SoC = no mainline 🙂

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