Linus Torvalds Uses Apple MacBook Hardware to Release Linux Kernel 5.19

Three months after the last kernel release, Linux Kernel 5.19 is finally here. This exciting release brings plenty of improvements to every aspect of the kernel and opens up opportunities with new hardware.

The most interesting part is that the Linux creator Linus Torvalds used an Apple MacBook, the Arm version, to announce this release.

Don’t get your pitchfork out just yet. Torvalds used Asahi Linux, a project dedicated to adding Linux support to Apple’s Arm-based Silicon Macbooks.

On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a loong time, and it’s finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team. We’ve had arm64 hardware around running Linux for a long time, but none of it has really been usable as a development platform until now.

That’s interesting. And this is the third time Torvalds used Apple hardware for Linux development.

Linux Kernel 5.19: What’s New?

As with all previous releases, Linux Kernel 5.19 has a lot of technical changes. However, there are only a few major ones that will have a direct impact on users, so we will focus on those here.

If you are interested in all the low-level code changes, you can refer to the official changelog.

LoongArch CPU Architecture Support

Over the past few years, it has been interesting to see Chinese chip manufacturers attempt to catch up to Intel and AMD. One way they have tried to do this is by creating their architectures, which are generally compatible with existing architectures.

One of the more successful of these companies is Loongson. However, due to their new architecture, the software support for these CPUs was pretty limited.

Starting with this release, these CPUs have initial support (it won’t work for booting) and will likely soon have packages ported to them.

We should see more progress on this with Linux Kernel 5.20.

32-bit RISC-V Apps on 64-bit RISC-V

As has been the case for the recent releases, Linux Kernel 5.19 greatly improves support for the open-source RISC-V architecture. This time, this comes in the form of allowing 32-bit RISC-V apps to run on 64-bit RISC-V systems.

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