Just in case you weren’t already aware, Linus Torvalds announced the availability of Linux kernel 5.16-rc5, which is nothing more but a release candidate before 5.16.
This delay has been blamed on the holidays by Linus, saying that they caused development to slow down. Thus, the release window is expected to be pushed back at least one week.
Judging by the announcement, we can expect the usual filesystem updates, general kernel additions, and improvements to networking.
A lot of improvements coming with 5.16
Did you know that there are lots of driver updates and two of them target Microsoft’s Surface line of devices?
Indeed, one of them seems to be tied to the button array on the Surface Go 3 but no exact information is given.
Allegedly, it implements the five-button array on the tablet itself, while the other one solves a multitouch issue with the non-pro Type Cover of the Surface 3.
Do give it a good testing – with the holidays coming up, things are probably going to slow down both on the development and testing front, and as a result I expect that I will also extend the rc series by another week not because it’s necessarily needed (too early to tell, but doesn’t feel that way), but simply because nobody will want to open the next merge window immediately in the new year.
It’s great to see that, although overlooked, these aspects are slowly starting to disappear, leaving only room for constant improvement.
Mac users are also looking forward to version 5.16, where they can expect improved support for Apple’s M1 chip, and gamers can expect the Nintendo Switch Pro controller driver to be merged into the mainline kernel.
It will be nice to finally be able to use the Switch Pro Controller outside of Steam with no extra effort. Another feature that is worth mentioning is the stable support for Intel’s Alder Lake graphics.
Even though no further official release information has been made public, it’s safe to say that the beginning of 2022 is a realistic ETA.