The latest Linux release candidate helps circumvent a hardware disaster

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An urgent set of patches for the latest release candidate (RC) of the under-development Linux v5.15 kernel reportedly helped the popular open source kernel avert what’s described as a “hardware trainwreck”.

Phoronix caught hold of last minute urgent updates sent hours before Linus Torvalds, the kernel’s principle developer, was to put out the fifth RC of the upcoming kernel.

The patch was added by longtime kernel developer Thomas Gleixner who described it as “yet another attempt at fixing the never-ending saga of botched x86 timers...”

Gleixner's patch made it to Torvalds’ Linux v5.15-rc5 release, who called the release a fairly normal one at this stage of development.

Saving a trainwreck

Gleixner’s patch was titled "use another crystalball to evaluate HPET usability," and aimed to fix an issue with the high precision event timer (HPET) coming to a halt on modern Intel processors, under certain circumstances, even if it is being used by the kernel.

Phoronix says that the kernel has employed various mechanisms in the past to workaround the problem with HPET. 

The problems date back to 2019 when Linux first experimented with disabling HPET on select Intel platforms. However, since there have been quirks in the previous solutions, Gleixner’s latest patch will simply disable HPET when it detects the presence of the PC10 power state.

Assuming that things go according to plan, Linux 5.15 should come out towards late October/early November.

Via Phoronix

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.