Linux Kernel 5.19 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

Linus Torvalds announced today the release and general availability of the Linux 5.19 kernel series as a major branch that brings more new features, improved hardware support, and lots of bug and security fixes.

After being in development for more than two months, Linux kernel 5.19 is finally here and introduces support for ZSTD-compressed firmware files, support for AMD’s Secure Nested Paging feature, a new user-space API for managing MultiPath TCP (MPTCP) flows, initial support for Loongson’s “LoongArch” RISC ISA CPU architecture, as well as support for the ARM Scalable Matrix Extension (SME).

“On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop,” said Linus Torvalds. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time, and it’s finally a 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.”

Among other changes, Linux kernel 5.19 adds polled I/O support to the virtio-blk driver to boost latency by up to 10 percent, adds support for handling ID-mapped mounts to the OverlayFS file system, improves the debugging infrastructure for the SLUB memory allocator,

Of course, there are also numerously updated and new drivers included in Linux kernel 5.19 to add support for new devices, including the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT joystick, Mega World controller’s force feedback, ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II, and Google Whiskers touchpad.

In addition, Linux 5.19 implements a new “hardware timestamp engine” subsystem to support devices that can record timestamps in response to events, such as the NVIDIA Tegra 194.

Those of you who like to compile kernels can download Linux 5.19’s source tarball right now from the kernel.org website. Everyone else would have to wait for their distribution’s maintainer to upgrade the kernel(s) to version 5.19 before attempting to update their installations to the new Linux kernel series.

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