Linux Kernel 6.3 Release Includes Interesting Features

Apr 26, 2023

Although it's not a Long Term Release candidate, Linux 6.3 includes features that will benefit end users.

For those who like to use the latest/greatest Linux kernel, version 6.3 has a few features that just might excite you.

On the top of that list is support for multi-actuator hard disk drives. Such drives are being more widely adopted for hyper-scale cloud deployments because of their ability to enable faster performance by way of a second set of read/write heads.

As well, Linux kernel 6.3 adds support for Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization, but this security feature is only available to Loongson RISC-V CPUs. Microsoft added nested hypervisor support for Hyper-V and support for Intel's Meteor Lake CPUs is fully functional. In addition, with the 6.3 kernel, Intel GB NIC will be able to break the 60% throttle speed it's suffered for the past few years.

Other features/improvements include support for the upcoming AMD CPUs and graphics cards, support for AMD's Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (to help mitigate Spectre vulnerabilities), support for the scalable matrix extension 2 instructions for ARM architecture, support for AES-SHA2-based encryption with NFS, EXT4 optimizations, a faster Btrfs driver, and a native Steam Deck controller interface in HID.

Although Linux kernel 6.3 has yet to make it into the standard repositories, you can download it from and compile it yourself. Eventually, this kernel will arrive in your distribution's repositories, and it's generally best to wait.

For more information on the new kernel, check out part 1 and part 2 of the merge window.


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