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Linux 5.9-rc6

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Linux

  • Linux 5.9-rc6
    Another week, another rc, and things look fairly normal: the diffstat
    looks fairly flat (implying small changes) and we don't have any
    unusual amount of activity.
    
    The one thing that does show up in the diffstat is the softscroll
    removal (both fbcon and vgacon), and there are people who want to save
    that, but we'll see if some maintainer steps up. I'm not willing to
    resurrect it in the broken form it was in, so I doubt that will happen
    in 5.9, but we'll see what happens.
    
    The other stats also look normal: about 60% of the patch is drivers
    (and yes, the softscroll is a noticeable part, but not overwhelmingly
    so - there's sound, gpu, mtd, i2c, usb etc). And the usual arch
    updates, along with some vm fixes (including the fix for the
    performance regression noted last rc) and perf tooling updates.
    
    We also have a (test regression (not the performance one) in the VM
    that we know about - the test that triggers this was admittedly buggy,
    but if the test was buggy it is quite possible that real uses are
    buggy too. We don't actually have any known case of any such real user
    breakage, but we do have a nice fix for the test regression that is
    very  much the RightThing(tm) to do in the long run, so that has been
    actively discussed.
    
    We know what the fix looks like, and a few initial patches have been
    floating around, but a final patch doesn't exist yet, and depending on
    how that goes this might be something that pushes out the final 5.9 by
    a week. We'll see.
    
    So there's still some development going on, but honestly, that VM case
    is a very odd corner case that normal users should never hit, so it
    should not keep anybody from testing this in the meantime.
    
    Holler if you see anything odd,
    
                      Linus
    
  • Linux 5.9-rc6 Released With Soft Scrollback Removed, Performance Regression Fixed

    The sixth weekly release candidate to Linux 5.9 is now available with at least two notable changes in particular.

    Prominent in Linux 5.9-rc6 is the fix for the previously reported performance regression hitting 5.9. In case you missed it from the end of last week, see the article on controlling page lock unfairness as part of addressing the performance regression. That code is now in Linux 5.9-rc6 and the performance is back on track with Linux 5.8 while I will have out more benchmark numbers soon on the revised Linux 5.8 vs. 5.9 performance state.

  • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc6

    The 5.9-rc6 kernel prepatch is out.

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Incremental backup with Butterfly Backup

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Regressions in GNU/Linux Evolution

  • When "progress" is backwards

    Lately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop". [...] We live in an era where in the FOSS world one constantly has to relearn things, switch to new, supposedly "better", but more bloated solutions, and is generally left with the impression that someone is pulling the rug from below one's feet. Many of the key changes in this area have been rammed through by a small set of decision makers, often closely related to Red Hat/Gnome/freedesktop.org. We're buying this "progress" at a high cost, and one can't avoid asking oneself whether there's more to the story than meets the eye. Never forget, Red Hat and Microsoft (TM) are partners and might even have the same shareholders.

  • When "progress" is backwards

Graphics: Vulkan, Intel and AMD

  • NVIDIA Ships Vulkan Driver Beta With Fragment Shading Rate Control - Phoronix

    This week's Vulkan 1.2.158 spec release brought the fragment shading rate extension to control the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. This can be useful similar to OpenGL and Direct3D support for helping to allow different, less important areas of the screen be shaded less than areas requiring greater detail/focus. NVIDIA on Tuesday released the 455.26.02 Linux driver (and 457.00 version for Windows) that adds this fragment shading rate extension.

  • Intel Begins Adding Alder Lake Graphics Support To Their Linux Driver - Phoronix

    Intel has begun adding support for Alderlake-S to their open-source Linux kernel graphics driver. An initial set of 18 patches amounting to just around 300 lines of new kernel code was sent out today for beginning the hardware enablement work on Alderlake-S from the graphics side. Yes, it's only a few hundred lines of new driver code due to Alder Lake leveraging the existing Gen12/Tigerlake support. The Alder Lake driver patches similarly re-use some of the same workarounds and changes as set for the 14nm Rocket Lake processors with Gen12 graphics coming out in Q1.

  • AMD Linux Driver Preparing For A Navi "Blockchain" Graphics Card - Phoronix

    While all eyes are on the AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" graphics cards set to be announced next week, it also looks like AMD is preparing for a Navi 1x "Blockchain" graphics card offering given the latest work in their open-source Linux driver. Patches posted today provide support for a new Navi graphics card referred to as the "navi10 blockchain SKU." The Navi 10 part has a device ID of 0x731E. From the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver perspective, the only difference from the existing Navi 10 GPU support is these patches disable the Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) support with this new SKU not having any display support.