Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds has announced availability of the Linux kernel version 5.11, marking the first stable kernel release for 2021.
The version arrived on Sunday's Valentine's Day with only a small amount of changes from the previous seventh release candidate (RC). It's been in development since before December and brings support for Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX), a hardware-isolated trusted execution environment for applications to store and process secrets in enclaves.
As noted by Linux news site Phoronix, SGX support in the Linux kernel has taken years to achieve. Linux 5.11 also brings better AMD performance and power-management support for AMD's Zen-based CPUs, thanks to patches from Google engineers.
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Torvalds seemed pleased with this stable release as there were no major hitches since RC7.
"In fact, it's a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we're all set for the merge window to start," noted Torvalds announcing the release over the weekend.
"But in the meantime – and yes, I know it's Valentine's Day here in the US – maybe give this release a good testing before you go back and play with development kernels. All right?"
Linux 5.11 also brings additional support to Arm devices, including wider support for various Chromebooks.