Linux kernel sheds legacy IDE support, but driver-dominated 5.14 rc1 still grows

Please ignore pesky AMD GPU hardware description header files, says Linus Torvalds


Linus Torvalds has loosed the first release candidate for version 5.14 of the Linux kernel,

Torvalds’s remarks about the new release open with his hopes that this release cycle is smooth, along with an observation that the size of a release does not correlate with whether the process is calm.

He then encouraged developers to “ignore – once again – another set of big AMD GPU hardware description header files” present in this cut of the kernel.

“We seem to have those fairly regularly,” he wrote, “and they are always these huge generated headers that end up dwarfing everything else. Almost exactly half of the whole 5.14-rc1 patch is comprised of those GPU headers, and it skews the statistics a lot.”

This release is dominated by drivers, he added, which is par for the course.

Torvalds described as “slightly less usual” the removal of old IDE support in this cut of the kernel. Even removing the “few tens of thousands of lines of legacy code” related to IDE couldn’t stop the kernel growing, when measured by the number of lines of code it contains.

Removing the IDE code did, however, make a lot of 40-pin ribbon cables redundant unless users adopt the libata code that remains in the kernel. Those still wedded to storage tech that uses those cables were given around two years’ warning of IDE’s demise in the kernel.

Among the notable planned inclusions in Linux 5.14 are support for the Rust programming language, mainline support for the Raspberry Pi 400, code from Microsoft that improves the performance of Linux guests under Hyper-V, and work on NVMeTCP that has been shown to result in dramatically lower CPU utilisation on both Xeon and EPYC processors. ®

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