Linux 5.9 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.9 on lkml:

Ok, so I’ll be honest – I had hoped for quite a bit fewer changes this last week, but at the same time there doesn’t really seem to be anything particularly scary in here. It’s just more commits and more lines changed than I would have wished for.

The bulk of this is the networking fixes that I already mentioned as being pending in the rc8 release notes last weekend. In fact, about half the patch (and probably more of the number of commits) is from the networking stuff (both drivers and elsewhere).

Outside of that, the most visible thing is a reinstatement of the fbdev amba-clcd driver – that’s a noticeable patch, but it’s basically just mainly a revert.

The rest is really really tiny (mostly some other minor driver updates, but some filesystem and architecture fixes too). There’s just a bit more of those kinds of tiny details than there should be fo this kind of last delayed week. But since nothing in there gives me any particular reason to delay another week, here we are.

That obviously means that the merge window for 5.10 is open, and I’ll start doing those pulls tomorrow. I already have a couple of pulls pending, but I hope people take the time to just do one last test of the final 5.9 release.

So go get it.


Linux 5.8 added basic support for IBM POWER10 Processor, support for inline encryption hardware usually found in storage devices, the Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) dynamic data race detector for kernel space, and more.

Linux 5.9 release

Some of the most notable changes in Linux 5.9 release include:

  • zstd compression support for kernel and initramfs for faster boot times
  • Initial support for AMD Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards
  • Initial support for Intel Emmitsburg architecture wihch looks to be using some of the same IP as in Ice Lake and Cannon Lake.
  • GPU support for Rocket Lake processors

Linux 5.9 Changelog for the Arm architecture

  • Allwinner
    • DVFS support for Allwinner H5
    • Touchscreen support for the Pinephone
    • New device – Revision v1.2 of the Pine64 PinePhone
    • Note: not many changes this time around but plenty of changes planned for Linux 5.10
  • Rockchip
    • Clock driver – Use poll_timeout functions in Rockchip clk driver; support Rockchip rk3288w SoC variant; Mark mac_lbtest critical on Rockchip rk3188
    • New boards – Radxa Rock Pi N8 development board and the VMARC RK3288 SoM
  • Amlogic
    • Clock driver – Amlogic g12: add neural network accelerator clock sources; Amlogic meson8: remove critical flag for main PLL divider and add video decoder clock gates
    • DRM – Add Amlogic Video FBC support to meson and fourcc to core
    • ODROID-N2 – Add audio output
    • New board – WeTek Core2 set-top box
  • Samsung
    • Power management – Add support for delayed timers to the devfreq core and make the Samsung exynos5422-dmc driver use it; new driver for Samsung Exynos5800 voltage coupler
    • PHY drivers – Samsung UFS
    • DTS ARM64 changes
      • Enable UFS (Universal Flash Storage) on Exynos7 Espresso board.
      • Fix silent hang after boot off Exynos7 Espresso board.
      • Minor DTS fixes and adjustments with dtschema.
    • DTS ARM changes
      • Enable Bluetooth on Artik5 (Exynos3250).
      • Enable accelerometer on Aries boards (Samsung Galaxy S family,
        S5Pv210); multiple fixes.
      • Fix highest frequencies on Exynos5800.
      • Fix rare USB instability on Odroid XU3 family (Exynos5422).
      • Minor DTS fixes and adjustments with dtschema.
  • Qualcomm
    • Added support for Snapdragon 630 (SDM630) Cortex-A53/Kryo 260 CPUs
    • Pinctrl – Add Qualcomm PM660 SoC subdriver
    • PCI – Various bug fixes for Qualcomm PCIe controller driver
    • Clock driver
      • Enable CPU clks on Qualcomm IPQ6018 & MSM8996 SoCs
      • GPU clk support for Qualcomm SM8150 and SM8250 SoCs
      • Audio clks on Qualcomm SC7180 SoCs
    • ARM DTS updates
      • Add QFPROM and ethernet for ipq8064
    • ARM64 DTS updates
      • SM8250 – Main pinctrl/gpio block (TLMM), I2C and SPI
        controllers, the CPU subsytem watchdog, inter-processor signalling
        controller (IPCC), always-on power/clock controller (AOSS),
        inter-processor state machine (SMP2P), defines remoteproc controls
        for audio, compute and sensor processors and base definition for the
        PM8009 PMIC. It also does fix up a few minor issues from the initial
        merge of the platform support.
      • SC7180 and SDM845 – Interconnect paths and performance tables
        defined for display, QUP, QSPI, SDHC and CPUs.
      • SC7180 gains WiFi support and some cleanups
      • SDM845 gains inline crypto engine support for UFS, LAB/IBB
        regulators for powering display panels, remoteproc relocation debug
      • SM8150 gains USB controller support and the two related PHYs, as well as thermal zones and throttling support.
      • IPQ8074 gains USB and SDHCI support.
      • MSM8916 is being cleaned up, gains interconnect providers and Samsung A2015 gains accelerometer and magnetometer support.
      • MSM8994 gains PSCI, SDHCI, SPMI support, I2C, SPI, UART gains DMA
        support and the DTS files are cleaned up.
    • ARM64 defconfig updates – Enable the Qualcomm RPM power-domain, RTC and IPCC drivers, the SDM845 video clock controller driver and the SM8250 TLMM pinctrl driver.
    • New devices
      • SDM630 based Android phones from Sony: Xperia 10, 10 Plus, XA2, XA2 Plus, and XA2 Ultra.
      • MikroTik RouterBoard 3011 rackmounted router based on the
        32-bit IPQ8064 networking SoC
      • Snapdragon 808 (msm8992) based Xiaomi Libra (Mi 4C)
      • Microsoft Lumia 950 Windows Phone
      • Snapdragon 810 (msm8994) based Sony Xperia Z5.
  • MediaTek
    • Pinctrl – Add bindings for MediaTek MT6779 SoC
    • ufs-mediatek – Add inline encryption support
    • Bluetooth – Add support for MediaTek MT7663S and MT7668S SDIO devices
    • ARM64 DTS changes
      • mt8183 – add pericfg, fix unit names, add nodes for USB 3.0 support
    • New device – Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 10.1″ (kukui/krane) Chromebook based
      on MT8183 (Helio P60t) SoC
  • Other new Arm hardware platforms and SoCs
    • Annapurna Labs (Amazon) – Alpine v3 is a 16-core Cortex-A72 SoC (aka  AL73400 or first-gen Graviton) + evaluation board
    • Aspeed – EthanolX is AMD’s EPYC data center reference platform with an
      ASpeed AST2600 baseboard management controller.
    • Intel – Keem Bay SoC for computer vision, built around a Movidius VPU with Linux running on Arm Cortex-A53 cores
    • Mstar – Initial support for two MStar v7 SoCs
    • Microchip – Sparx5 family of ethernet switch chips using 64-bit Cortex-A53 cores.
    • Nvidia
    • NXP – i.MX6 boards: MYiR MYS-6ULX single-board computer, and four industrial computers from Protonic.
    • Renesas
      • RZ/G2H (r8a774e1) SoC + HopeRun HiHope
        RZ/G2H development board
      • Versions 3.0 and 4.0 of RZ/G2M and RZ/G2N reference boards
      • Beacon EmbeddedWorks RZ/G2M SoM+Carrier development board.

MIPS updates

There are now fewer changes for the MIPS architecture, but the code is still being updated:

  • improvements for Loongson64
  • extended Ingenic support
  • removal of not maintained paravirt system type
  • cleanups and fixes

Linux 5.9 changelog for RISC-V architecture

  • New kernel features
    • ARCH_SUPPORTS_ATOMIC_RMW, to allow OSQ locks to be enabled
    • The ability to enable NO_HZ_FULL
    • Support for enabling kcov, kmemleak, stack protector, and VM
    • JUMP_LABEL support
  • A handful of cleanups for Kendryte K210, and other parts

For more details, you can find Linux 5.9 changelog (commit messages only) generated with the command git log v5.8..v5.9-rc8 --stat here. Alternatively, you could also read a detailed changelog on KernelNewbies website.

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10 Replies to “Linux 5.9 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures”

    • ODROID-N2 – Add audio output

    Now that is great news.

    • New boards – Radxa Rock Pi N8 development board and the VMARC RK3288 SoM

    I didn’t know about that. They are keeping secrets for me 🙂

    1. All I found on it , FromJagan Teki <>Subject[PATCH v4 4/4] ARM: dts: rockchip: Add Radxa Rock Pi N8 initial supportDateWed, 8 Jul 2020 12:06:27 +0530

    1. Yes, they do, but focusing on B2B now.
      This Linux release also adds even older hardware including Google Nexus 7 and Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android tablets launched around 2012/2013.

    1. Fair enough. There were two pull requests for new Arm SoCs this time around, and I missed one. So three other Arm platforms have been added to the list.

  1. I might get back on trying on my K210, it seems that its linux support is gaining traction because i always see this SoC appearing on linux changelogs

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