Linus Torvalds Linux 5.19 loses with Asahi Linux on a Mac • The Register

Linus Torvalds released version 5.19 of the project, and praised Apple’s Home Silicon — and the Asahi Linux distribution it runs on — for making Arm’s computers useful for developers.

In announcing the release, Torvalds called work to support the China-made Loongarch RISC architecture as an important step, along with “another set of sysctl READ_ONCE() comments for networks to create some Happy Data Race validator code.”

Then Torvalds revealed he got his hands on some silicone from Apple.

“Personally, the most interesting part here is that I released (as I am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It is something I have been waiting for for a long time, and it has finally become a reality thanks to the Asahi team,” he wrote. “We’ve had arm64 machines around running Linux for a long time, but none of them have been usable as a development platform yet.”

Emperor Penguin hedged a bit, acknowledging “Not that I’ve used it for any real work, I’ve literally been just doing tests and boots, and now the actual release tags are ticking.”

But it seems Torvalds wants his Apple Mac to become the one he uses when he’s on the road.

“I’m trying to make sure that the next time I’m traveling I can travel with this as a laptop and finally try the arm64 side as well.”

He wrote: “It’s my third time using Apple hardware for Linux development – I did so many years ago to develop PowerPC on my ppc970”. “Then a decade ago, when the MacBook Air was the only real thin and light device. And now as an arm64 platform.”

Among the main features of version 5.19 of the kernel:

  • Support for Intel Trust Domain Extensions that isolate virtual machines from the virtual machine manager/hypervisor and any other software on the platform, to add isolation beyond what can be achieved with traditional virtualization;
  • AMD’s SEV-SNP support, which protects VMs from hypervisor attacks;
  • Arm’s multi-platform support is pretty much done;
  • improved monitoring of ASUS motherboards;
  • Removed support for the Renesas H8/300 CPU architecture, which has the curious advantage of actually removing it from the kernel, and then putting it back in.

good folk in Voronex You have a comprehensive list of everything that’s new in version 5.19.

Torvalds’ post ends with a footnote stating that he intends to call the next version 6.0 of the kernel “since I started getting worried about confusing large numbers again.”

This is slightly incompatible with the 4.x series, which reached 4.20, but it follows the same scheme used in the 3.x series which stopped at 3.19.

None of this really makes a difference anyway, because there’s no indication that the next kernel will introduce the kind of incremental change in functionality that would justify the release of x.0 in either open source or commercial software. ®

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