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What's New in Linux 5.6? WireGuard VPN and USB4


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Linux 5.6 "has a bit more changes than I'd like," Linus Torvalds posted on the kernel mailing list, "but they are mostly from davem's networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary..." TechRadar reports that the new changes include support for USB4 and GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards with the Nouveau driver: Yes, Turing GPU support has arrived with the open source Nouveau driver, along with the proprietary firmware images, as Phoronix.com reports. However, don't get too excited, as re-clocking doesn't work yet (getting the GPU to operate at stock clocks), and other important pieces of the puzzle are missing (like no Vulkan support with Nouveau). For the unfamiliar, Nouveau is an alternative to Nvidia's proprietary drivers on Linux, and although it remains in a relatively rough state in comparison, it's still good to see things progressing for Linux gamers with one of Nvidia's latest cards in their PC. Linux 5.6 also introduces fresh elements on the AMD front, with better reset support for Navi and Renoir graphics cards (which helps the GPU recover if it hits a problem)... Another notable move is the introduction of WireGuard support, a newcomer VPN protocol which makes a potentially nifty alternative to OpenVPN. Linux 5.6 also supports the Amazon Echo speaker, and naturally comes with a raft of other minor improvements... Linus's post also notes that for the next release's timing they'll "play it by ear... It's not like the merge window is more important than your health, or the health of people around you." But he says he hasn't seen signs that the pandemic could affect its development (other than the possibility of distraction by the news). "I suspect a lot of us work from home even normally, and my daughter laughed at me and called me a 'social distancing champ' the other day..."

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