Linux 5.17 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.17:

So we had an extra week of at the end of this release cycle, and I’m happy to report that it was very calm indeed. We could probably have skipped it with not a lot of downside, but we did get a few last-minute reverts and fixes in and avoid some brown-paper bugs that would otherwise have been stable fodder, so it’s all good.

And that calm last week can very much be seen from the appended shortlog – there really aren’t a lot of commits in here, and it’s all pretty small. Most of it is in drivers (net, usb, drm), with some core networking, and some tooling updates too.

It really is small enough that you can just scroll through the details below, and the one-liner summaries will give a good flavor of what happened last week.

Of course, this means that the merge window for 5.18 will be open starting tomorrow, and I already have about a dozen pull requests waiting in my inbox. I appreciate the early pull requests: it gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling of “this was all ready in plenty of time”. Judging by the statistics in linux-next, it looks like 5.18 will be a bit bigger than 5.17 was, but hopefully without some of the drama.

So go test this, and we’ll get 5.18 started tomorrow.

Introduced in January, the previous release of Linux 5.16 enabled improved Wine and Linux game performance with a new futex_waitv() system call, faster memory management with the memory folios infrastructure, file system health reporting (for EXT-4 only at the time), and plenty of other changes including over 60 new Arm-based boards and devices.

Linux 5.17 changelog

Some notable changes to Linux 5.17 include:

  • Real-Time Linux Analysis (RTLA) tool – As part of the efforts to get PREEMPT_RT into mainline, Linux 5.17 includes a Real-Time Linux Analysis (RTLA) tool with a set of commands that aims to analyze the real-time properties of Linux using kernel tracing capabilities. A few more details can be found in an article by Daniel Bristot de Oliveira.
  • New P-State driver for modern AMD Zen processors – AMD P-State is the AMD CPU performance scaling driver that introduces a new CPU frequency control mechanism, based on Collaborative processor performance control (CPPC), on AMD Zen-based CPU series in Linux kernel.
  • Mitigate straight-line speculation attacks – Security vulnerabilities of the “Spectre and Meltdown” type discovered in 2018 keep on coming with one of the latest ones being called “Straight-line speculation“. Linux 5.17 adds some mitigations.
  • A faster random number generator –  The Linux random number generator has switched from SHA-1 to BLAKE2s hash function which, together with other improvements, drastically improved the performance.

Linux 5.17 changelog for the Arm architecture

  • The arm64 architecture has gained support for the kernel concurrency sanitizer (KCSAN).
  • 32-Bit Arm systems now support KFENCE.
  • Allwinner
    • Allwinner A64/H5 – DRAM frequency scaling (DEVFREQ)
    • Allwinner – R40/T3/A40i – CAN (series)
    • Allwinner H6 – Hantro G2 core for VP9 video decoding
    • New board – Tanix TX6 set-top box based on the H6 SoC
  • Rockchip
    • Multiple fixes for the Rockchip RK3399 addressing issues with sound and eMMC
    • Rockchip rk3568 usb2 support
    • Rockchip VDEC – Added backend for VP9 profile 0 up to 4096×2304@30fps
  • Amlogic
    • Amlogic Meson8 HDMI TX PHY driver
    • ARM64 DT changes for Linux 5.17:
      • Add missing CEC nodes for ODROID-C4 & HC4
      • Fix thermal-zones indent for G12/SM1 SoCs dtsi
      • Fix GPU OPP table node name for G12/SM1 SoCs dtsi
      • Fix SPI NOR Flash node name for ODROID-N2/N2+
      • Fixes for GXBB Wetek boards:
      • Fix HDMI supply
      • Add missing gpio bindings include
      • Switch to new LED bindings
      • P241 additions – Add VCC 5v regulator, add sound nodes
  • Samsung
    • Clock driver – Initial clock driver for the Exynos7885 SoC (found in Samsung Galaxy A8)
    • Pinctrl driver – Add Samsung Exynos 7885 pin controller
    • Samsung SoC drivers gain support for new SoCs in ChipID (Exynos 7885) and PMU (Exynos 850), as well as a new USIv2 driver that handles various types of serial
      communication (UART, I2C, SPI)
    • Minor fixes for S3C platforms
    • DTS ARM changes for Linux 5.17
      • Fix Bluetooth GPIO on GT-I9100.
      • Minor improvements and dts chema fixes.
    • DTS ARM64 changes
      • Add bindings for Exynos USI, Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) board, WinLink E850-96 board (Exynos 850), and WinLink vendor prefix.
      • Add pinctrl definitions used for Exynos 850.
      • Convert serial on Exynos Auto v9 to new hierarchy where serial is part of USI node.
  • Qualcomm
    • Added support for Snapdragon X65 5G modem (Cortex-A7)
    • Added support for Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 high-end mobile SoC
    • Pinctrl driver
      • Add Qualcomm SDX65, SM8450 pin controllers
      • Add Qualcomm PM8019, PM8226, and PM2250 pin controllers.
    • PHY
      • Qualcomm eDP PHY driver
      • Qualcomm SM8450 UFS, USB2, USB3, PCIe0 and PCIe1 phy support
      • Qualcomm SM6350 USB2 support
    • PCIe controller driver –  Various fixes
    • Clock drivers – Added Qualcomm SDX65, SM8450, and MSM8976 GCC clks, Qualcomm SDX65 and SM8450 RPMh clks
    • Networking – Added BAM-DMUX WWAN network driver, updates to Qualcomm 802.11ax WiFi (ath11k) driver
    • Device tree updates for SDX55 modem (IPA, PCIe PHY and PCIe endpoint controller)
    • New devices and boards
      • Reference machines based on Snapdragon X65 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
      • Various Chromebook and phones based on the Snapdragon 7c, 845, and 888 SoCs, including various Sony Xperia
        devices and the Microsoft Surface Duo 2.
  • MediaTek
    • Basic support for Mediatek MT7986 (A/B) Wifi router SoC aka Filogic 830
    • Various fixes for MediaTek PCIe, PCIe Gen3, and MT7621 PCIe controller drivers
    • MediaTek WiFi (mt76) – Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) support, mt7921: 160 MHz channel support
    • Added support for Mediatek MT6589 (found in Fairphone FP1) and MT8183 (used in the Acer Chromebook 314.)
  • Other new Arm hardware platforms and SoCs
    • Apple – Added missing device trees for all the remaining M1 Macbook and iMac variants, but not yet the M1 Pro/Max versions.
    • Aspeed AST2500/AST2600 BMCs in TYAN, Facebook, and Yadro servers
    • Broadcom – Support for the Netgear RAXE500 Wireless router based on BCM4908
    • Microchip – AT91/SAMA5 based evaluation board
    • NVIDIA
      • Various older Android devices based on 32-bit chips, including a number of ASUS Transformer tablets.
      • Jetson AGX Orin developer kit
    • NXP
    • Renesas – R-Car S4-8 automotive Server/Communication SoC.
    • STMicro – Engicam i.Core STM32MP1 carrier board.
    • Texas Instruments
      • J721s automotive SoC in the K3 family.
      • SPEAr320s minor variant of the SPEAr320 SoC

Updates for the MIPS architecture

MIPS is still not completely dead with some updates:

  • Add support for more BCM47XX based devices
  • Add MIPS support for brcmstb PCIe controller
  • Add Loongson 2K1000 reset driver
  • Add MDMA and BDMA clks to Ingenic JZ4760 and JZ4770
  • Remove board support for rbtx4938/rbtx4939
  • Remove support for TX4939 SoCs
  • Fixes and cleanups

RISC-V changes in Linux 5.17

There were also some interesting updates to RISC-V notably related to Allwinner and StarFive processors:

  • Allwinner D1 – Clocks, PLIC, Crypto engine
  • Add support for StarFive JH7100 RISC-V SoC found in VisionFive SBC and BeagleV Starlight
  • Support for the DA9063 as used on the HiFive Unmatched.
  • Support for relative extables, which puts us in line with other architectures and save some space in vmlinux.
  • A handful of kexec fixes/improvements, including the ability to run crash kernels from PCI-addressable memory on the HiFive Unmatched.
  • Support for the SBI SRST extension, which allows systems that do not have an explicit driver in Linux to reboot.
  • A handful of fixes and cleanups, including to the defconfigs and device trees.

You can also read the Linux 5.17 changelog with all commit comments generated with the command git log v5.16..v5.17-rc8 –stat, or check out a more detailed summary on KernelNewbies website.

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