Linus Torvalds couldn't find an excuse to hold back Linux 6.5, so here it is

Summer push proved less disruptive than feared

Linus Torvalds has decided the time is right to give the world a new version of the Linux kernel, announcing its delivery in a brief Sunday afternoon post.

"Nothing particularly odd or scary happened this last week, so there is no excuse to delay the 6.5 release," he wrote.

The emperor penguin admitted some trepidation about this release.

"I still have this nagging feeling that a lot of people are on vacation and that things have been quiet partly due to that. But this release has been going smoothly, so that's probably just me being paranoid," he wrote, adding "The biggest patches this last week were literally just to our selftests."

For the record, Torvalds has worried about the impact of Northern summer on this release ever since release candidate one debuted way back in the second week of July.

Whatever the reason for this release appearing on schedule, with no notable ructions, it has produced a version of the kernel unlikely to be regarded as particularly significant. Perhaps the most notable inclusion is default enablement of P-State on some AMD CPUs – meaning the kernel can manage cores more efficiently to balance performance and power consumption.

Intel CPUs that blend performance and efficiency cores have also gained improved load balancing, which should to get the most out of Chipzilla silicon based on the Alder Lake architecture.

The kernel also added tools to bring CPUs into operation in parallel – a boost for boot times on multisocket servers, which is relevant for hyperscalers.

Speaking of hyperscalers, China's Alibaba will be pleased that the kernel improved support for its homebrew T-Head Xuantie 910 TH1520 RISC-V 64-bit processor. T-Head, Alibaba's chip design house, suggests the Xuantie 910 will find its home in servers running AI workloads, 5G equipment, and edge servers. Running Linux is arguably a prerequisite for success in any of those roles. Also in version 6.5, USB 4.2 makes its initial appearance, albeit without full support. Wi-Fi 7 has received more kernel love.

On, then, to version 6.6 of the kernel, which might see the appearance of the bcachefs filesystem. It controversially didn't make it into version 6.5, but Torvalds perused it during the push for version 6.5, and expressed increased comfort at its debut in a future kernel cut.

Torvalds wrote that he already has "~20 pull requests pending and ready to go," but asked developers to test this new release before diving into the "next merge frenzy."

Linux 6.5 is the third release in a row to arrive on schedule after seven release candidates. Linux 6.1 needed an eighth release candidate, but Torvalds had planned for that in case work slowed over the 2022–23 Christmas/New Year period. ®

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