The latest Linux kernel release is actually really boring, Torvalds says

Linus Torvalds at the Open Source Summit, Lyon in 2019
(Image credit: Mayank Sharma)

Linus Torvalds has released the 5.18 version of the Linux kernel on schedule, but he hardly sounds happy about it

Torvalds said “nothing really odd stands out” for users of Linux distros from the latest 5.18 update, dubbing the kernel “plain old boring 5.18”.

The news means that the merge window for the soon to land 5.19 kernel will open within hours, hopefully providing loyal users with a bit more excitement.

Linux 5.18 update

The update will feature parsic architecture patches, as well as “random driver updates”, including one to Mellanox mlx5, and also give Linux users “some other minor architecture fixes, some core networking, and some tooling stuff”.

Linux aficionados who want to find out more can check out the update page here.

Changes expected for the upcoming 5.19 kernel include improved support for a variety of Intel, AMD and Apple hardware.

These pieces of hardware include, but are not limited to, Intel DG2/Alchemist graphics, Intel Raptor Lake P graphics support, and AMD SEV-SNP upstreaming  according to Phoronix.

The increased collaboration between Intel and Linux seems to be coming from both parties, despite Tovalds calling Intel "the single worst company we've ever dealt with" in a 2012 speech.

Nvidia is publishing its Linux GPU kernel modules on an open source basis with a dual GPL/MIT license now available on GitHub.

The hardware giant says the move will allow tighter integration with the OS and for developers to debug, integrate, and contribute back to their communities.

Despite Torvalds significantly underplaying its significance, the 5.18 kernel did provide several significant changes for users.

These included the introduction of an Intel Software Defined Silicon (SDSi) driver to the mainline kernel.

The 5.18 kernal also included compatibility updates for hardware such as the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 processor, the Tesla FSD chip (produced by Arm and Samsung), Razer Blackwidow keyboards, as well as steps to improve Apple Magic Keyboard support.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.