Linux Kernel 5.4 Released

Nov 25, 2019

A number of new changes and improvements have reached the Linux kernel.

Linux founder, Linus Torvalds, has announced the release of kernel 5.4. Included in this latest release are a number of additions and improvements that will certainly benefit desktop linux. What are the top features? Read on.

The most important addition to the Linux kernel 5.4 iteration is the new kernel lockdown mode. The goal of this new feature is a heightened level of security via the separation of UID 0 (also known as the root user) and the kernel. This feature includes both integrity and confidentiality modes. Integrity mode does not allow userland applications and services to modify the running kernel, while confidentiality mode does not allow the extraction of confidential information by userland applications and services.

As for graphics? Other important new features to the Linux kernel include support for AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs, as well as AMD Arcturus graphic cards and the AMD Dali and 2020 APU platforms. Intel Tiger Lake hardware now gets early support and the Nouveau open source driver sees improved display color management.

Finally, file systems are getting a couple of important additions. First off, an optional case-insensitive file and folder handling feature has been made available in F2FS. This will bring support for case-insensitive file-name lookups. With this feature, F2FS case folding can be set on a per-directory basis. Second, exFAT support is now available for Linux. With this new option, the transferring of files bigger than 4GB will be possible with drives formatted to the  exFAT file system.

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