- The kernel, which offers the essential set of hardware drivers and functional services that charge an operating system, is the foundation of Linux.
- While Rust could not make it to Linux 6.0, it will likely be in the Linux 6.1 kernel version, which may be available by the end of 2022.
The open-source Linux operating system is integral to delivering cloud and enterprise applications. In fact, Linux-based compute resources are offered by every cloud provider, including Microsoft. Linux is often the platform of choice for embedded and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The top Linux distribution vendors currently include Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the German company SUSE, and IBM’s Red Hat division.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the market for Linux will increase from USD 6.27 billion in 2022 to USD 22.15 billion by 2029.
The kernel, which offers the essential set of hardware drivers and functional services that charge an operating system, is the foundation of Linux. Developer Linus Torvalds originally released the Linux kernel in 1992. Torvalds continues to guide the release process to this day with the contributions of hundreds of people worldwide.
Fast iterations of the Linux kernel, resulting in fresh major releases every 8 to ten weeks. The 6.0 kernel, the most recent version, was made public by Torvalds yesterday. Since the March 2019 release of version 5.0, the jump to 6.0 is the first significant version number change.
However, the increase in numbers isn’t always a sign of a specific technical achievement. Linux 5.19 was the last update before Linux 6.0. In his announcement for the release of Linux 6.0, Linus Torvalds stated, “So, as is hopefully clear to everybody, the major version number change is more about me running out of fingers and toes than it is about any big fundamental changes. But, of course, there are a lot of various changes in 6.0 — we’ve got over 15k nonmerge commits in there in total, after all, and as such, 6.0 is one of the bigger releases, at least in numbers of commits in a while.”
Runtime Verification makes Linux more secure
Each new Linux kernel comes with a plethora of features, many of which are geared toward supporting new hardware. Enhanced support for Intel Arc A770 GPUs and Intel Habana Labs Gaudi 2 AI accelerators is among the latest hardware drivers in Linux 6.0.
According to Jiri Kosina, head of SUSE Labs Core and Hardware, Linux 6.0 has many performance enhancements. One such enhancement is the removal of an energy-margin heuristic from the Linux scheduler, which generally leads to better energy utilization. This algorithm restricted process migration across CPUs. Kosina also pointed out that the arm64 chip architecture can now swap transparent hugepages for memory in a suitable manner, considerably increasing the throughput of some workloads.
While hardware support is vital, according to senior principal software engineer at Red Hat Daniel Bristot de Oliveira, the new Runtime Verification subsystem feature, which he created, stands out the most.
Runtime Verification is also called a formal verification tool. With formal verification, the operation of a system and the execution of different processes are verified mathematically to ensure that systems operate correctly. According to De Oliveira, Runtime Verification (RV) is a simple yet demanding formal verification technique with a valuable strategy for complicated systems. RV analyzes the trace of the system’s actual execution and compares it against a formal specification of the system behavior.
According to de Oliveira, “It’s a fundamental feature for enabling the usage of Linux in safety-critical systems, a trend that is mainly led by automotive and industrial applications. But it will also help to improve Linux’s reliability in general across industries and use scenarios.”
Rust: Coming in Linux 6.1
At the Open Source Summit in June, Linus Torvalds said that he had anticipated the open-source Rust programming language to be included in Linux soon.
While Rust could not make it to Linux 6.0, it will likely be in the Linux 6.1 kernel version, which may be available by the end of 2022. Google Linux kernel developer Kees Cook made the official request on October 1 for the addition of the first piece of code that will allow Rust support in Linux 6.1.
Rust will help improve security and dependability, much like the Runtime Verification functionality that is now present in Linux 6.0.
“One of the main advantages of Rust is its focus on safety, mainly regarding memory access and preventing data races,” de Oliveira said. “Even with this safety emphasis, Rust still provides fast runtimes and low overheads.”