Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.11, says it's so good your significant other wants you to test it on Valentine's Day

AMD admirers get plenty to swoon over, Intel’s SGX also makes it unto the kernel, as did some head-scratching gaming kit


Linus Torvalds has delivered version 5.11 of the Linux kernel to the faithful.

"Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are - with 5.11 tagged and pushed out, Torvalds said in his weekly state of the kernel post.

Big inclusions in this release include support for Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) technology that allows developers to use walled-off enclaves of memory in which it’s theoretically possible to get some work done without the rest of a system having any idea what’s going on inside. It’s a nice idea but SGX has been compromised on several occasions .

AMD admirers get support for more silicon plus finer controls for power management and handling workloads as CPUs throttle up and down. The new kernel also improves Linux performance of some AMD CPUs.

The new release also means the kernel can now run on the crowdfunded OUYA Android-powered games console, probably because Linux was offered as a way to keep the machine and its games alive after the product flopped. Also in the “They bothered with that?” column is support for Guitar Hero and Wii U controllers.

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The Xen hypervisor gains fixes for two bugs, one of which could result in privilege escalation and even a little light information leakage. XFS has become more sensitive to damaged filesystems and won’t mount them until they’ve been repaired.

WiMax support has been demoted to staging, joining Itanium in the orphan shack.

Dell and Lenovo have both continued to show their love for Linux laptops, the former by making some BIOS settings configurable from within the OS, and the latter by adding palm detection sensor support.

"I know it's Valentine's Day here in the US - maybe give this release a good testing before you go back and play with development kernels," Torvalds said in hits post, adding: "Because I'm sure your SO [significant other] will understand."

With 5.11 out of the way, the caravan rolls on the version 5.12. As usual we can expect a two-week merge window and then seven or eight release candidates. Which would see 5.12 land in late April, assuming the Easter holiday doesn’t kick a hole in the schedule.

The Register hopes that enough of the world is vaccinated that Easter 2021 becomes an excellent opportunity to take a break from kernel development and whatever else occupies your time! ®

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