Linux Kernel 4.14 is here. It is a long-term support release and as stated earlier, it is the first Linux Kernel that will be supported for six years. Until now Linux Kernel LTS versions were supported for two years.
As usual, Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 4.14 in Linux Kernel mailing list. Introducing the release, Linus said, “No surprises this week, although it is probably worth pointing out how the 0day robot has been getting even better (it was very useful before, but Fengguang has been working on making it even better and reporting the problems it has found)”.
The mentioned 0day robot is actually an automated vulnerability-checker that checks Linux kernel code for potential vulnerabilities.
He also said the most noticeable last-minute change that was done was to revert a code that showed “a good MHz value in /proc/cpuinfo even for the modern “CPU picks frequency dynamically” case. This worked fine but it was realized it will be too expensive on machines that have hundreds of CPU cores. Hence the reason why it wasn’t included in 4.14 though it might be done later and then back-port.
Main features in Linux Kernel 4.14
- Bigger Memory Limits: On x86_64, hardware limits have been increased to 128PiB of virtual address space and a physical address space of 4PiB from the previous 4-level paging limit of 256 TiB virtual address space and physical address space of 64 TiB. AMD Secure Memory Encryption Support has also been added. The Secure Memory Encryption can now be used to protect DRAM contents from physical attacks on the system.Linux version 4.14 also has the Heterogeneous Memory Management that allows GPUs to get access into an application’s memory space.
- Networking: A New Realtek Wi-Fi driver, RTL8822BE is now available to support the 802.llac wireless network card on new PCs. The driver has been placed in ‘staging’ to reduce the time whereby the new card will have in-kernel driver access.
- Asus T304UA Support: HID: multitouch supports Asus T304UA media keys. Asus T304UA now has a convertible magnetic detachable keyboard with touchpad to be connected over USB.
- For TV tuners, webcams & video captures: A packed Bayer raw12 pixel formats has been added that is made up of a compressed 12-bit raw bayer format having four different pixel orders.
- Graphics: Improvements have been made in AMDGPU DRM Vega driver. drm/amdkfd has image tiling mode v2 support; drm/amdgpu allows for specifying a limit on VRAM through a module parameter.
- Improved support for Ryzen processors
- Support for HDMI CEC for Raspberry Pi. Rasberry Pi Zero W, Rockchip RK3328/Pine 64, Banana Pi R2 and are now supported in Linux Kernel 4.14.
You can check out the full list of the changed features pf Linux 4.14 here.
Installing Linux Kernel 4.14
A few Linux distribution might already be rolling out the new Kernel. However, most Linux distributions will take months to test it and then release it to their users.
It is not advisable to upgrade the Linux Kernel on your own. You should wait till your distribution makes it available for you.
If you think you know what you are doing and you are okay with experimenting with your system, you can use a tool like Ukuku to upgrade Linux kernel in Ubuntu. You can also manually upgrade the kernel in Debian Linux.
What do you think about the latest release version, Linux 4.14? Share your comments with us below.