Linux Kernel 5.4 released with exFAT support, root restrictions and more new features

ByGoraud Mazanec 2019-11-26 610

The new Linux Kernel 5.4 can reach directories into virtual machines more efficiently. It also introduces an unpopular security technique and addresses many new AMD graphics chips.

 new Linux Kernel 5.4 ​ 

Linus Torvalds has released Linux version 5.4 for the week start. Like every new kernel in the main Linux development line, the latest one brings well over ten thousand changes. Some upgrade new features, others improve existing ones. The most important changes in the short overview, before the text goes into details:


● One of the most outstanding new features is support for Microsoft's exFAT file system; however, there are many indications that the now integrated code will soon be replaced by one of two more modern approaches.

● The new kernel can deny the root user some things that have been possible so far; this can increase the security of the system and is mainly intended to support UEFI Secure Boot.

● Linux 5.4 introduces a new approach to limiting the use of storage hardware so that programs that have gone wild cannot slow down others excessively.

● Extensions contributed by Google developers promise to improve Android's app performance.

● The new kernel puts a security barrier in place to allow Wine to run some 64-bit Windows games on the latest AMD and Intel processors.

● Linux 5.4 brings support for the Radeon RX 5500, which is currently arriving on the market; unlike what was expected in the meantime, it is also not marked as experimental and is therefore active by default. In addition, the developers have improved the performance of the AMD graphics driver for modern graphics chips.

● The kernel can now also read the processor temperature for Ryzen 3000 CPUs.

● The storage drivers now finally know how to control the NVMe media of modern Macs.

● In order to solve a smoldering problem in generating random numbers once and for all, Linus Torvalds has surprisingly programmed a significant change himself.

● Kernel developers can now limit access to functions their code offers to other modules. The function could sooner or later limit the capabilities of externally maintained kernel drivers - whether open source or proprietary.

● Tracing and performance monitoring programs executed with the BPF can now be compiled to run under different kernel images.

● Virtio-Fs introduces a fresh approach to the kernel to access host files and directories from virtual machines (VMs) efficiently and quickly.

● A variety of new and enhanced drivers significantly improve hardware support. An example: A new driver allows to control the flight simulator Flightgear via remote controls, which are actually intended to control drones or model helicopters and airplanes.

● The new Linux version will receive long-term maintenance - whether two or six years, but is currently still uncertain.

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