Linux 5.8 launched: Linus Torvalds’s ‘biggest release of all time’ brings these new updates

Linux 5.8 includes 800,000 new lines and over 14,000 changed files, making it one of the biggest releases yet.

Linux 5.8 has finally been released, previously described by Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds as “one of our biggest releases of all time”.

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The new version of the Linux kernel brings a number of updates to Linux 5.7 spanning security, core components, drivers, memory management, networking and improvements to the kernel’s design, amongst others.

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This includes updates for Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform, Intel Tiger Lake Thunderbolt support, improvements to Microsoft’s exFAT file system, and support for newer Intel and ARM chips.

Torvalds said the kernel had received over 15,000 merge requests and that around 20% of all the files in the kernel source repository had been modified. “That’s really a fairly big percentage, and while some of it is scripted, on the whole it’s really just the same pattern: 5.8 has simply seen a lot of development,” Torvalds said.

Translated into numbers, Linux 5.8 includes over 800,000 new lines and over 14,000 changed files. It also received one of the biggest number of merge requests during its merge window – over 14,000 non-merge commits and more than 15,000 including merges, according to Torvalds. “5.8 looks big. Really big,” he added.

However, while kernel version 5.8 is approximately the same size as version 4.9 from 2016, Torvalds pointed out that Linux 4.9 was “artificially big” due in part to the fact that it contained the Greybus driver subsystem to support Google’s modular phone project, Project Ara, which has since been mothballed.

Users interested in downloading Linux version 5.8 can download it from the official Linux Kernel page.

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