Linux just got one of its biggest kernel updates yet says Linus Torvalds

One of the bigger updates to the Linux kernel has arrived. Go out and use it, says Torvalds.

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Linux creator Linus Torvalds on Sunday announced the arrival of the Linux 4.12 kernel, which is notable for its size thanks to addition support for AMD's new Radeon RX Vega graphics card.

"Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn't have any real reason to delay the 4.12 release," wrote Torvalds.

As noted by Phoronix, Linux 4.12 brought over one million lines of new code to the kernel since 4.11 through work on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) for Vega GPUs, new disk and file-systems, updates for POWER9, ARM, and Nvidia processors, a USB Type-C port manager, and some kernel hardening in the form of Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization or KASLR, which is on by default for x86 systems.

"4.12 is one of the bigger releases historically, and I think only 4.9 ends up having had more commits. And 4.9 was big at least partly because Greg announced it was an LTS kernel. But 4.12 is just plain big," said Torvalds.

The final release followed seven release candidates (rc) since development of 4.12 started in mid-May.

Torvalds notes the whole 4.12 shortlog was "too large to post" in his mailing list announcement, but assured that it was "normal development, just more of it" than usual, which stabilized sufficiently over the past month to proceed with Sunday's release.

"In the diff department, 4.12 is also very big, although the reason there isn't just that there's a lot of development, we have the added bulk of a lot of new header files for the AMD Vega support," he explained.

"That's almost exactly half the bulk of the patch, in fact, and partly as a result of that the driver side dominates everything else at 85+% of the release patch (it's not all the AMD Vega headers - the Intel IPU driver in staging is big too, for example)."

Torvalds updated his instructions to the community from "Go test" to "Go out and use it".

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