Linux Kernel is the “Linux kernel”.
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In the great waltz of new operating systems, we had the right to Windows 11 last year, macOS Ventura a few weeks ago, and it is now Linux’s turn to get a facelift. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, has released version 6.0, as announced in his October newsletter.
What is the Linux kernel?
The changes brought by this new version of Linux are very different from those offered by the latest opuses of Windows and macOS. On the side of Apple and Microsoft, we have noticed quite significant developments in terms of design, philosophy of use or ergonomics. Moving to the Linux 6.0 kernel is not exactly comparable, precisely because it is an operating system kernel. Very important, this software brick manages the various resources of the computer and allows applications and hardware to communicate with each other. It’s sort of the “brain” behind an operating system.
But this brain alone is not very useful. It is necessary that developers seize it to provide it with a graphical interface, a software suite, drivers, etc. It is this set of bricks that we call the operating system. Android, for example, uses the Linux kernel, as does Chrome OS. Particularly versatile, the kernel can therefore be used in lots of different systems. By abuse of language, Linux has been called all non-commercial operating systems based on this kernel, but in reality Linux is only part of systems such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
A not so major version 6.0
The release of a version of the Linux kernel is still important news, since it brings new software features that will then be more widely integrated into the many operating systems that use Linux as a base. What about version 6.0?
At the risk of disappointing, version 6.0 of the kernel does not bring absolutely fundamental changes. As Torvalds himself writes, “the version number has more to do with the fact that I no longer have enough fingers and toes to count than with the arrival of major changes”. Over the evolutions, the labeling of the Linux kernel becomes more complex with a host of very abstract numbers (the last version was 5.19.12). The decision was therefore made to switch to a new figure to see more clearly. This does not mean that no novelty has been announced.
Wide compatibility with Intel processors and graphics cards
Linux 6.0 notably brings compatibility with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 ARM processor which will be used in future 5G laptops. Intel Arc graphics cards are also supported by this new kernel version, as are the new Raptor Lake processors announced recently. Better support for the 3D libraries of the Raspberry Pi 4 should also delight owners of the microcomputer.
The release of this new kernel is not enough to make all Linux distributions automatically compatible with all computers on the market. Every operating system vendor will need to build around this kernel to ensure full OS compatibility, but the task has been made much easier with Linux 6.0. Excellent news for anyone who wants to install an alternative OS on their machine, whether it is equipped with an Intel x64 or Qualcomm ARM processor. This will in particular extend the life of these products if one day Windows begins to blow in their circuits.
For the user who wishes to compile the kernel himself, the sources are available, but it is better to wait for the update proposed by the editor of the operating system.