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Linux 5.10 will deliver 'historic' upgrade

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The creator of Linux has hailed the "historic" launch of the latest update as one of the most important in the software's history.

Linus Torvalds said that the release of Linux 5.10 was, "a bigger release than I expected", and could surpass version 5.8 to be the biggest software launch for the company yet.

The launch looks to make the open-source software platform more powerful and easier to use than ever before, offering a number of new additions, upgrades and features for users across the globe.

Linux 5.10 release

In his release notes, Torvalds noted that the size of Linux 5.10 was unusual, saying, "I'm not entirely sure whether this is just a general upward trend (we did seem to plateau for a while there), or just a fluke."

"That said, things seem to have gone fairly smoothly. I don't see any huge red flags, and the merge window didn't cause any unusual issues for me. Famous last words.."

Torvalds highlighted in particular the removal of an addressing tool that seems to have been present in Linux for nearly 30 years, but now could pose a security threat due to the pace of technological change.

The removal of setf_fs() no longer means the Linux kernel is able to override address spaces, as the tool controlled “whether a userspace copy actually goes to user space or kernel space”. This has been a particular issue for some time, after a 2010 security report claimed that the tool could be used to “overwrite arbitrary kernel memory locations, and gain privileges”.

Since 2010, chip designers and programmers have moved their technology far forward, but Linux kept the feature in, seemingly since the very first software launch. Torvalds described the removal as, "a small historical footnote", adding that, “It's not a _huge_ change, but it's most people that all shouldn't matter at all."

Elsewhere, Linux 5.10 brings in better support for Nvidia and Broadcom hardware, including the graphics driver in the latter's CPU used in the Raspberry Pi 4, as well as a number of new accomodations for new CPUs and GPUs across the board.

Linux 5.10 is open for testing now.

Via The Register

Mike Moore is News & Features Editor across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers. He is interested in hearing about all the latest B2B and B2C news, analysis and opinions, including how companies are using new technology to help forward their work and make their customer's lives easier.