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Linus Torvalds launches Linux kernel 5.13 after seven release candidates

M1 support, interesting Azure integrations, RISC-V love among notable features

Linus Torvalds has released version 5.13 of the Linux kernel after a very smooth development process that required seven release candidates.

“So we had quite the calm week since rc7, and I see no reason to delay 5.13,” wrote the Linux maintainer-in-chief in his weekly State of the Kernel post. Torvalds rated the new release as “fairly large.”

“In fact," he said, "it’s one of the bigger 5.x releases, with over 16k commits (over 17k if you count merges), from over 2k developers. But it’s a ‘big all over’ kind of thing, not something particular that stands out as particularly unusual. Some of the extra size might just be because 5.12 had that extra rc week.”

Features that contribute to the bigness include:

  • Support for Apple’s M1 silicon;
  • The beginnings of support for wireless wide area networks;
  • Microsoft’s Azure Network Adapter, a tool that makes it easier to build hybrid networks;
  • Improved support for the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface spec on laptops;
  • More support for Microsoft Surface laptops;
  • Early work to support Linux as Arm64 Hyper-V guests;
  • Plenty of enhancements to RISC-V support.

The folks at Phoronix have a detailed list of the best new bits in this release.

Torvalds signed off his launch post by stating, “I already have a few pull requests for it pending, but as usual, I’d ask people to give the final 5.13 at least a quick test before moving on to the exciting new pending stuff.”

The new release can be found here and for the completionists among you, Torvalds’ commit for this version is here.

The release of version 5.13 means the merge window for version 5.14 is now open. Among the features slated for inclusion are Raspberry Pi 400 support, updates to handle recent or imminent x86 CPUs, and support for more GPUs including Qualcomm’s Adreno 660 GPU, which is found alongside its Snapdragon 888 SoC.

Torvalds prefers each release of the Linux kernel to require more or less seven release candidates though it’s not always possible to achieve that schedule. In the 5.x series of kernels, versions 5.0, 5.3, 5.4 5.9, and 5.12 all stretched to eight release candidates each.

On several other occasions during the 5.x series, Torvalds has come close to doing an eighth release candidate, as mentioned in his posts for versions 5.2, 5.6, and 5.8. Five of the 12 most recent kernel releases therefore required an eighth release candidate, and three recent kernels came close to the extra release. ®

Editor's note: This article was revised after publication to put the number of release candidates for 5.13 into context.

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