Tag Archives: Support

ASUS Platform Profile Support, Alder Lake PMC Support + More Land For Linux 5.15


LINUX KERNEL --

The platform-drivers-x86 area of the kernel continues to be quite active with particularly offering better support for modern Intel/AMD laptops. With Linux 5.15 there is another big batch of improvements that landed at the end of last week.

Highlights of the x86 platform drivers work for Linux 5.15 includes:

– ASUS laptop support for ACPI platform profile handling has landed, similar to the platform profile support for Dell and Lenovo laptops for making it easy to manipulate the system’s power management behavior depending upon power or performance preferences.

– The ASUS WMI driver also has the additions around being able to enable a connected eGPU on select laptops and also being able to disable the dGPU on various ASUS laptops. There is also panel overdrive support too.

– Alder Lake support has been added to the Intel PMC driver.

– A platform driver for the meraki-mx100, a cloud managed security appliance from Meraki.

– The Gigabyte WMI driver now supports the X570 GAMINGX and B450M S2H V2 motherboards.

– Various fixes/quirks for a number of different laptops.

See the pull for the full list of changes.


High Resolution Scrolling On Linux Progressing, Apple Magic Mouse Support In Linux 5.15


HARDWARE --

Being worked on for several years now on the Linux desktop has been high resolution scrolling including work for it around X Input, the libinput library used both by X.Org and Wayland systems, and the kernel driver side for the HID/input devices to support it. The latest user-space work is high resolution scroll wheel support within the next libinput release. Separately, with Linux 5.15 is now additionally support for high resolution scrolling with the Apple Magic Mouse.

Peter Hutterer of Red Hat who serves as the Linux input expert and is responsible for much of the high resolution scrolling work released libinput 1.18-rc1. With this new snapshot there is support for hold gestures and high resolution scroll wheel support. Peter notes in that announcement that the high resolution wheel scrolling replaces the earlier pointer axis API.

On Peter’s blog he has written more about this high resolution scroll wheel support. Via Twitter, Peter also shared a video showing the smoothness of that enhanced scroll wheel support:

And then on the high resolution scrolling support at large, Linux 5.15 adds high resolution scrolling for the Apple Magic Mouse.

The HID pull also includes support for GHLive PS4 dongles, improved stylus battery reporting, and other enhancements to the various HID drivers.




Linux 5.14 Released With New Hardware Support, Core Scheduling, MEMFD_SECRET


LINUX KERNEL --

As expected Linus Torvalds promoted Linux 5.14 to stable in providing the latest features, hardware support, and other improvements ahead of the autumn 2021 Linux distribution releases.

See the Linux 5.14 feature list for a comprehensive list of the changes in this new kernel version. Some of the Linux 5.14 highlights include core scheduling support, secret memory areas support with MEMFD_SECRET, continued enablement around Intel Alder Lake, Yellow Carp and Beige Goby AMD graphics support, AMD SmartShift laptop support, Raspberry Pi 400 support, and more. Linux 5.14 has the usual mix of new hardware support, improving existing features, and adding in other new kernel innovations.

This Linux 5.14 kernel release comes just days after the 30th anniversary of Torvalds announcing the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds wrote in today’s Linux 5.14 announcement, “So I realize you must all still be busy with all the galas and fancy balls and all the other 30th anniversary events, but at some point you must be getting tired of the constant glitz, the fireworks, and the champagne. That ball gown or tailcoat isn’t the most comfortable thing, either. The celebrations will go on for a few more weeks yet, but you all may just need a breather from them. And when that happens, I have just the thing for you – a new kernel release to test and enjoy. Because 5.14 is out there, just waiting for you to kick the tires and remind yourself what all the festivities are about.

Now it’s on to the Linux 5.15 merge window with a lot of exciting changes planned.


GNOME 41 Beta Released With “Calls” SIP/VoIP Support, Wayland Improvements


GNOME --

The GNOME 41 beta is now available ahead of next month’s official half-year update to this open-source desktop environment.

There is a lot that’s been queued up for GNOME 41 beta. Below is a look at the highlights of the lengthy changes for this beta milestone.

– GNOME Calls has begun adding SIP base functionality with now UI-based support for managing a SIP Account and placing/receiving VoIP calls.

– GDM now allows for the user session to be Wayland even if the log-in screen is X.Org-based.

– GDM now allows user sessions for single GPU vendor NVIDIA systems.

– GNOME Calendar can now open up ICS files and import events.

– GNOME Control Center adds new “Cellular” and “Multitasking” panels.

– GNOME Disk Utility now uses LUKS2 for new encrypted partitions.

– GNOME Initial Setup’s “Software” page for easily toggling third-party repositories has been restored.

– GNOME Music has begun implementing its new design mock-ups.

– GNOME Shell has fixed XWayland application support when not using systemd in the user session.

– GNOME Software has seen a rework to its user-interface.

– The Nautilus file manager has redesigned its “Compress” dialog, among other improvements.

More details on the GNOME 41 Beta changes via the release announcement.


AMD Publishes Latest SEV-SNP Guest + Hypervisor Support For Linux


AMD --

AMD has published their fifth revision of SEV-SNP support for the KVM hypervisor and guest VM support for this Secure Encrypted Virtualization Secure Nested Paging functionality found with new EPYC 7003 series server processors.

SEV-SNP is the latest iteration of Secure Encrypted Virtualization. SEV-SNP provides additional memory integrity protections around replay protection, data corruption, memory aliasing, and memory re-mapping. There are also other hardware protections with SEV-SNP as outlined in the SEV comparison table:

While SEV-SNP support is found in EPYC 7003 series processors since their March debut, the Linux kernel bring-up for this latest functionality is still a work-in-progress. Shortly after the EPYC “Milan” announcement in March, the Linux kernel patches began and have now worked from their initial request-for-comments form to now a five rounds of code review for preparing the KVM hypervisor code and guest support for the latest SEV functionality.

On the hypervisor side are 45 patches that provide the basic building blocks for handling of SEV-SNP virtual machines. There still is though more security enhancements with SEV-SNP that aren’t supported by this code, such as interrupt protection. Further feature work on SEV-SNP is expected after this initial base support lands.

With this v5 series there are many updates stemming from the prior rounds of code review, the ability to enforce a minimum SEV-SNP firmware version, and other low-level code improvements.

There are also the 38 patches providing the SEV-SNP guest support. That gets the initial support in place but like on the hypervisor side there still will be future feature work. As one example of future work, the guest support for now is also only doing pre-validation of memory pages rather than the on-demand/lazy validation — Intel Linux engineers are currently working on similar code in this area around Linux “unaccepted memory” handling for that lazy/on-demand validation, which for their case is for TDX.

Like on the hypervisor side, the v5 guest patches are primarily for addressing comments raised during the prior code review.

It’s getting very close to the Linux 5.15 merge window kicking off and not immediately clear if this code will prove to be ready for the next cycle whether these v5 patches have all issues addressed, but chances are given the timing the code will likely not be until at least Linux 5.16. Thus stretching it out from potentially appearing in autumn 2021 Linux distributions. We certainly hope the code will reach mainline in the next cycle or two so that this AMD SEV-SNP support can appear out-of-the-box in the default kernel of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS in the spring.

For out-of-tree kernel use, besides the patches on the kernel mailing list itself, AMD does continue to maintain the sev-snp-devel branch of AMDESE/AMDSEV on GitHub that some organizations are utilizing for SEV-SNP protections right now with EPYC Linux servers. Moving forward, hopefully AMD will manage to deliver more punctual upstream, mainlined kernel support for such features — especially with AMD hiring more Linux engineers, including in the area of virtualization.