Linux This Month

Linux Kernel 5.15 & 2021 Recap!

Episode description

It’s the final episode of Linux This Month for 2021! Join Cara Nolte and Jeremy Morgan as they look at the top stories of the year, including many releases: Linux kernel updates, Debian 11, Fedora 34 and Ubuntu 21.10. They also take a look at a couple of recent stories, such as the Linux kernel 5.15 release, and RHEL 9 in GA, before finishing off with a look at 30 years of Linux!

0:00​ Introduction
0:29​ Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Beta in GA
2:12 Linux kernel 5.14 EOL, 5.15 released
3:36 2021 in review
6:12 Linux 30th anniversary

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Course: Linux Operating System Fundamentals
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Course: How to Get a Linux Job
https://bit.ly/31CyB0s

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Beta is now GA!
https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/whats-new-rhel-90-beta

Linux Kernel 5.14 is EOL, 5.15 Released!
https://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/linux-kernel-5-14-reached-end-of-life-users-urged-to-upgrade-to-linux-5-15-lts/

2021 in Review
Linux Distro Updates
https://www.makeuseof.com/exciting-linux-distro-updates-in-2021/

Ubuntu Releases
https://ubuntu.com/about/release-cycle

Fedora Releases
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/34/ChangeSet

Linux 30th anniversary
https://www.pluralsight.com/newsroom/press-releases/after-30-years–here-s-what-the-linux-legacy-means-at-pluralsigh2
https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html
https://cdn.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/ChangeLog-5.15.6
https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/08/25-awesome-unexpected-things-powered-linux
https://linuxfoundation.org/linux30th/
http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/2108.3/05438.html

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Series description

Linux is an ever-evolving technology, transforming from a simple kernel released in 1991 to 95% of servers in the world now running Linux in 2019. With an unstoppable growth and use on 90% of cloud infrastructures and 100% of supercomputers, Linux This Month is here to provide you with monthly updates from the global Linux community. Helping both the home and professional users stay up to date with the latest changes in Linux development, adoption, and industry changes.

Hello, and welcome to Linux This Month. This is the last episode of the year, and I'm teaming up with my colleague, Jeremy Morgan, to bring you the latest in Linux news. We have a few updates to tell you about, and then we'll get to the fun and dive into 2021 in review and the Linux 30th anniversary. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Beta is now GA. It's based on upstream kernel 5.14 and was designed for demanding hybrid

multicloud deployment. Supported hardware architectures include Intel/AMD64, ARM 64-bit, IBM Power LE, and IBM Z. This version has updates for simplified automation and management, including enhanced web console performance metrics, which makes it easier to detect performance bottlenecks and deliver this data to common reporting tools. Live kernel patching functionality is now available through the web console and several improvements have been made to the image builder that now allows you to build RHEL 8 and 9 images from a single build node. There are also improvements to security and compliance, including smart card authentication in the web console, additional security profiles, more details in the SSSD logs to better analyze performance and configuration issues, integrated openssl 3 with new security ciphers for encryption, and IMA digital hashes and signatures.

It also includes an update to disallow users to log in as root through SSH. There also improved container development with more UBI container images, and it now ships with cgroup2 and Podman. Other than the long list of updates, there won't be many surprises for users in regards to learning how to do new administrative tasks. Per Red Hat, if you're familiar with RHEL 8, you'll feel right at home. If you'd like to check it out, sign up for a free developer account and download it at redhat.com.

Now let's pass it over to Jeremy for our latest kernel update. Thanks Cara. Linux kernel version 5.14 is at end of life and LTS kernel 5.15 has been released. Linux kernel 5.14 was released back in August with a multitude of new features,

including better hardware support as well as updated drivers for graphic cards, secret memory spaces, and core scheduling to help eliminate modern CPU vulnerabilities. 5.15 has now been released and designated as a long-term support kernel. Updated features include an improved NTFS3 driver that enables more features and better performance for NTFS file systems. This allows you to support NTFS like a native Linux file system. Temperature monitoring support was added for AMD CPUs, as well as a new audio driver for the Van Gogh APU. Now,

if you haven't heard of an APU before, it stands for accelerated processing unit. And this is basically a set of processors that act as a CPU as well as a graphics processing unit. And they're commonly found on gaming consoles. So you'll appreciate this update. If you're running something like Steam Deck, which supports Linux. Additional updates were made to the Intel Alder Lake processors, Intel Discrete graphics, and apple M1 chip support, as well as improvements and optimizations for EXT4 and BTRFS file systems.

Users are encouraged to download the latest stable kernel 5.15.5 at kernel.org. 2021 was a big year for some major kernel updates and new distribution releases. As Jeremy mentioned, kernel versions 5.12 and 5.14 were released this year, both with lots of new drivers, and performance and support improvement.

Now they're both end of life and long-term support kernel 5.1.5 has been released as the new LTS Linux kernel. Ubuntu released several versions this year, including versions 20.04 long-term support, 20.10 and 21.04, which are based on kernel 5.11 and include better hardware support and GNOME shell enhancements. 21.10 was released in August,

which is based on the 5.13 Linux kernel, which added even more hardware support for processors and GPUs. Although kernel 5.13 went end of life in September, Ubuntu 21.10 will be supported through the beginning of 2022, with a new 22.04 LTS release slated for that timeframe as well.

You can find more details on Ubuntu releases at a ubuntu.com/about/releasecycle. Now back to my liaison in Linux land and cohort in configuration to talk about other releases in 2021. Fedora released version 34 back in April with a brand new logo. Updates include the new GNOME 40 desktop, which was redesigned to make interaction more intuitive. Also included is BTRFS compression by default, to reduce write amplification and save space as well as improvements to swap based actions and system-oomd is enabled by default, which enables better out of memory handling and that results in less resource shortages. Fedora supports each release for about 13 months.

So you still have some time to test this new OS before the next release. You can download it at fedoraproject.org. Debian released Project Bullseye, or Debian 11, in April. It was based on Linux 5.10 long-term support kernel. Updates included over 11,000 new packages totaling over 59,551 total packages.

Other updates include more support for printers and scanners without needing drivers, ExFAT file system support, more encryption for passwords of local system accounts, and more details in the systemd journal logs. The next stable Bullseye version, 11.2, is slated to be released on December 18th, 2021. You can find more information on releases at release.debian.org. Now let's dig into the fun and get back to Cara and talk about the last 30 years of Linux. Linux turned 30 years old.

Linux celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Linus Torvalds, a Finnish computer science student, created Linux back in 1991. He started it as a hobby as he wanted to make a Unix-like operating system for the new 386 processors at the time. He even mentioned in his original email that it was just a hobby and he didn't plan for it to become anything professional like GNU. Well, surprise Linus, you did a great job and we're super happy that you took on that little project.

When Linux first arrived, there was a steep learning curve and it was mostly a hobby for enthusiastic engineers and computer science students who could contribute by developing code. It quickly became a platform for one of the largest communities for open source contributors. As open source was pretty new at the time, it was exciting to download the OS, test the features, write new features, and then share those with the open source community to be tested and rolled into the new product. This meant that anyone could contribute to the product, which was basically a free Unix-like distribution. Linus started his work with a few files written in C.

Today the Linux kernel contains about 23.3 million lines of source code, not including comments. It started out as just a kernel, meaning you could boot up a machine and do a few things on it from the command line. Back then Linux had about a hundred developers working on it, all donating their time to build it. Today over 15,000 people contribute to the Linux kernel.

Linux is still very small in the desktop world at around 2% market share, but 96.3 of the world's top 1 million servers run on Linux. 90% of all cloud infrastructure, and about 85% of smartphones are based on Linux as well. Also about 25% of professional developers use Linux as their primary operating system today. Linux now runs most of the technology that we see and use today. In addition to public and private servers, Linux runs in NASA, space robots, gaming consoles, and the Large Hadron Collider, which is the world's largest and highest energy particle collider.

It also runs Roku and smart TVs, as well as many other entertainment and smart devices. My first exposure to Linux was in college in 1999. I took an Intro to Shell Scripting course and Fedora was installed on the lab server because it was free and easily scalable. I'm passionate about Linux because it's changed how the world processes information. And it's changed my life personally, by allowing me to share that passion for growth within a community.

Without Linux, we wouldn't have technology interwoven into the world we know today. The Linux operating system will continue to serve as an outlet for innovation for years to come. It embodies what it means to democratize technology skills as a free and open source solution available to everyone. Its spirit of innovation and adaptability resonate with everything we do here, giving Linux a very special place in our heart. Here's to 30 more. That's it for this month's Linux This Month. If you like the show,

be sure to give this episode a big thumbs up. Have a question? Add it into the forum. May your source remain open and your code compile. See you next time and keep being awesome Cloud Gurus.

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