Linux 5.8: the biggest update and support for the Russian chip

the largest update and support for the Russian chip. IT Market

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Natalia Solovieva

Linux 5.8: the biggest update and support for the Russian chip

Linus Torvalds, the creator of the kernel of the most widespread free operating system GNU / Linux, announced the release of the next update to the Linux kernel – to version 5.8. Last
The release is notable not only for being the largest update for the entire existence of this OS family, but also for the premiere addition of support for the Russian processor to it.

Linus Torvalds presented the first stable release of the Linux 5.8 kernel to IT professionals on August 2, 2020. Its release was made in full accordance with the schedule. According to experts,
work on the new version lasted two months: the premiere of version 5.7 took place on May 31, 2020, and already in early June the developers started building 5.8.

The Linux 5.8 kernel differs from all previous versions in the most grandiose number of innovations in the entire history of the GNU / Linux project. For example, 17 606 fixes were accepted for implementation, which were
prepared by a team of 2,081 developers from around the world.

As Linus Torvalds himself wrote on the Linux kernel mailing list, which was made in mid-June 2020, version 5.8 contains 800 thousand new lines of code and more than 14 thousand changed files, which
makes up about 20% of the total kernel files.

At the moment, the Linux 5.8 kernel is the leader in the number of changes made, both commits and added lines of code that relate to various subsystems.

So, changes were made to about 20% of the files stored in the repository with the kernel code (more than 16.2 thousand files in total). More than 489k lines have been removed from the code and a record number added –
more than 1.04 million – new lines, due to which their total number has also increased significantly.

The final size of patch 5.8 for the kernel has reached 65 MB. For comparison – in version 5.7 it was 39 MB.

“I really didn’t expect it, but 5.8 will seem to be one of our biggest releases of all time,” the media quoted Linvus Torvalds in a letter.

New changes to the Linux kernel related to hardware support accounted for about 40% of the changes made. Among them – the first support in the history of Linux OS
Russian processor. It was the Baikal-T1 chip, manufactured using 28 nm technology by Baikal Electronics and released at the end of May 2015.

The Baikal-T1 configuration includes three Ethernet controllers (two 1 GB and one 10 GB), a DDR3-1600 memory controller that supports up to 8 GB, a PCIe Gen.3 controller, a SATA 3.0 controller (6 Gb),
USB 2.0 controller. The processor is built on a 2-core MIPS 32 r5 P5600, clocked at up to 1.2 GHz. Built-in cache memory – 1 MB. The processor is supplied in a 25×25 HFCBGA-576 package

The total number of changes in the Linux kernel code related to Baikal-T1 exceeded 40. All of them were also included in the preliminary build 5.8-rc2 (Release Candidate), released on June 22, 2020.

Together with Baikal T1 in Linux 5.8, support for universal microprocessors of the Loongson-2K architecture (developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences), Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphones based on
Android OS.

Linux 5.8 source code is already available for download at

Plans for Linux 5.9 are currently unknown.

Operating system, Linux

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