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There still is another month to go until the Linux 6.2 kernel is released as stable and in turn kicking off the Linux 6.3 merge window. But from my monitoring in recent weeks, here is an early preview of some of the material expected for the v6.3 kernel based on what’s been queuing in the various subsystem «-next» branches or otherwise looking like it should align for the next cycle.
Linux 6.3 will be yet another very busy kernel cycle from new hardware support to new low-level features. The Linux 6.3 merge window should begin in mid-February following the Linux 6.2 stable release. However, that puts the Linux 6.3 stable release in turn around the end of April or early May depending upon how everything plays out.
As a very early look at some of what is likely to land with Linux 6.3, below is a look at material covered as part of what has already been queued into different «-next» branches or otherwise expressed on the mailing lists with intentions for getting into the next kernel version. Granted, things could always change or Linus Torvalds spot some issue that could lead to a feature being rejected. In any case, here is some of what will likely be seen with Linux 6.3 this spring:
– Removal of several obsolete DRM drivers such as for the ATI Rage 128, 3Dfx, S3 Savage, i810, and others. The code has been unmaintained in years, never ported to make use of kernel mode-setting, and the 3D support code abandoned in Mesa years ago as well.
– In addition to dropping old DRM drivers, Linux 6.3 is to drop several old Arm drivers and boards/machine support. This in turn lightens the Linux kernel by another 154k lines.
– AMD Automatic IBRS is finally being mainlined for Zen 4 CPUs. This can help deliver better performance on Ryzen 7000 series / EPYC 9004 series processors.
– AMD P-State EPP support is hoping to be squared away for the Linux 6.3 kernel but isn’t yet finalized.
– Support for Microsoft’s Pluton CRB TPM2 found with the latest AMD Ryzen processors. This is just for the TPM2 interfacing and not any other Pluton functionality under Linux.
– Support for making use of the Intel LKGS instruction with future Intel CPUs with FRED.
– Intel Meteor Lake display support and other Intel graphics bring-up around Meteor Lake.
– The Intel i915 driver now has DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) Display Stream Compression (DSC) support enabled.
– More Intel preparations for Data Center GPU Max Series «Ponte Vecchio» hardware.
– Linux 6.3 will more gracefully handle AMD GPUs without proper driver support or missing firmware.
– The AMDGPU driver is exposing PCIe information to user-space that the Radeon Mesa drivers can then use for helping with optimized buffer placement and other benefits.
– Sony DualShock 4 controller support is being dropped from «hid-sony» with Linux 6.2 having added the DualShock 4 controller support to the newer hid-playstation driver. This official Sony DualShock 4 controller support in the PlayStation HID driver should be better off than the former.
– NVIDIA BlueField 3 DPU Ethernet driver support is ready to go.
– AVX2 and AVX-512 optimized versions of the ARIA cipher.
– An MGLRU performance regression fix is on the way for SVT-AV1.
– Analog TV support improvements for the DRM code.
– Various hardware sensor (HWMON) driver improvements from ASUS motherboards to NZXT devices and more.
– Improvements to Restartable Sequences (RSEQ).
– The Intel Habana Labs AI driver might be ready for the new accelerator subsystem.
Stay tuned for more Linux 6.3 kernel coverage as the cycle nears kickoff next month and then followed obviously by my usual performance testing and benchmarking of that next kernel version.