Linus says don’t get excited, but the new release contains some significant updates.
Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel has announced the release of Linux 5.0. Despite any excitement around the major release number, the fact is these numbers really don’t mean much. Torvalds has often said that he chooses a new number when the version number becomes too long. He simply doesn’t want a situation where “the numbers are big enough that you can’t really distinguish them.”
Announcing 5.0, Torvalds wrote, “I’d like to point out (yet again) that we don’t do feature-based releases, and that “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.”
That said, there are many new features in this release, including support for GPUs. Linux 5.0 comes with improvement for AMD FreeSync, NVIDIA RTX Turing, and Raspberry Pi Touch Display support. It also comes with Google’s Adiantum storage encryption system.
As we reported earlier, 50% of the Linux 5.0 codebase consists of drivers update, 20 percent is architecture updates, 10 percent is tooling, and the remaining 20 percent is rest of the stuff, including documentation, networking, filesystems, header file updates, and core kernel code.
Linux 5.0 also mitigates the performance hit that was caused by previous mitigations of Spectre and Meltdown bugs.