Linux 5.0 Is A Major Upgrade With Minor Improvements

Linux is a free and open-source software operating systems based on the Linux kernel. And here, version 5.0 has been released by its creator, Linus Torvalds.

What many people usually expect from major releases is tons of enhancements and features. But in Linux 5.0, this is not necessarily the case, as this numerical jump from 4.x to 5.x doesn't introduce anything much.

According to Torvalds, the Linux development team doesn’t do feature-based releases.

Linux 5.0 follows the Linux 4.20 kernel release, but "'5.0' doesn't mean anything more than that the 4.x numbers started getting big enough that I ran out of fingers and toes," said Torvalds on a mailing list announcement..

However, "The overall changes for all of the 5.0 release are much bigger," he said.

"In fact, at least two thirds of the patches are marked as being fixes for previous releases, so it's not like 5.0 itself looks bad."

Linux 5.0 should interest users as it supports AMD FreeSync support. The setup requires users to have all the appropriate hardware - FreeSync compatible monitor and graphics card - as well as an assortment of drivers.

Version 5.0 also supports Nvidia RTX Turing, and Raspberry Pi Touch Display.

What's more, it also includes Spectre mitigation that is meant to defend against the popular side-channel attack without creating serious performance hits. A previous kernel release (4.20) incurred up to a 50 percent performance penalty on some Intel processors, and in 5.0, this should be a lot less.

There are other features too in this 5.0 release, such as a workaround to help combat memory fragmentation, support for energy aware-scheduling, Google's Adiantum file system encryption for low-power devices, Btrfs swap file support, and Logitech high-resolution scrolling.

Beyond that, Linux 5.0 has managed to improve its graphics using a large version of the Terminus console font. This should be useful for users using HiDPI displays, such as 4K screens, because it makes reading a terminal's font much easier.

Linus Torvalds
Linus Torvalds, a Finnish–American software engineer who is the creator, and historically, the principal developer of the Linux kernel

Each and every release of software is always meant to keep pace with the evolving nature of technology. And the Linux kernel is no exception.

As a popular open-source operating system, the Linux kernel has been widely adopted in a very wide range of uses.

From desktop computers, netbooks, servers, supercomputers, smart devices, embedded devices, gaming, home appliances, to even space rockets, the Linux kernel has powered them all.

Besides the Linux distributions designed for general-purposes, Linux distributions can also be specialized for different purposes including: embedded systems, stability, security, localization to a specific region or language, targeting of specific user groups, support for real-time applications, or commitment to a given desktop environment.

As of 2015, over four hundred Linux distributions are actively developed, with about a dozen distributions being most popular for general-purpose use.

As for Linux 5.0, "About 50 percent [of Linux 5.0] is drivers, 20 percent is architecture updates, 10 percent is tooling, and the remaining 20 percent is all over (documentation, networking, filesystems, header file updates, core kernel code..)

It introduces a list of upgrades. While it's not exhaustive, but some of them are actually noteworthy changes.

The Linux creator in releasing Linux 5.0 should be good news for Linux fans that have been on a long wait.