Linux Kernel 5.16 Released, Speeds up Wine Games

The stable version is now available after eight release candidate version releases.

As expected Linus Torvalds announced Linux kernel 5.16 to stable in providing the latest features, hardware support, and other improvements ahead of the new 2022 Linux distribution releases, so let’s see what’s new.

Playing video games on Linux can sometimes be a difficult process. Of course, gaming platforms such as Steam, allow users to play Windows games on Linux with the help of the projects like Proton. However, there is another option – Wine. With that said, the latest version of the Linux kernel brings a new system call, futex_waitv(), which results in better gaming performance while playing both native Linux games or Windows games on Wine.

Looking at the CPUs, the biggest addition is that Intel’s Advanced Matrix Extensions support is now finally stable. This new extension introduces a unique and performant approach to matrix operations that are frequently used to demonstrate the high-performance capabilities of GPUs.

We can’t fail to mention that the file systems got also some improvements. Btfrs file system gets zoned namespace support. XFS has improved memory footprint by setting up separate slab caches for frequently used items and compacting some data structures. EROFS file system gets LZMA compression and support for multiple devices.

On tRISC-V architecture gets KVM support, BPF exception tables, and support for time namespaces.

Among other noteworthy changes, this release comes with good news for PlayStation 5 owners. Linux Kernel 5.16 improves the support for PlayStation controller with an update contributed by Sony. You can now connect your Dual-Sense PlayStation 5 controller to your Linux desktop.

Apart from those mentioned above, some additional changes also deserve to be noted here. There is added support for Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module, which enables mainline kernel support without the addition of separate drivers. This means it should be possible to run a mainline 5.16 kernel on a Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module without any extra build steps or patches.

In addition, there is added support for the Apple M1 chip’s PCI Express controller as Linux inches its way towards a full Linux desktop on M1 Macs.

For more information, you can refer to the official announcement post. Linux kernel 5.16 is available to download as a source code from the website.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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