New Linux Kernel 5.18: What does it mean for 11th Gen Framework?


I just read about the release of the new kernel (Linux 5.18 Features Include Many AMD & Intel Additions, Tesla FSD Chip, Other Changes Review - Phoronix). Given the expertise here, I wanted to check if the new release would mean,

  1. Does it lead to an easier way to sign and load keys for secure boot?
  2. Does it mean better power management or better graphics performance?

TLDR: not really

  1. No. The best option if you want to enable secure boot is to set up something to sign it for you and import the keys or do an exception in the firmware for the bootloader. Any work cleaning this up and making it nice and smooth is more distro specific and/or package downstream from the kernel not the kernel itself. (the kernel doesn’t sign itself by design as anyone can compile or modify the kernel.)
  2. those improvements are more either next gen or upcoming support of CPUs/GPUs or really coming out of the SteamDeck work Valve is doing. For instance p-state improvements for different Ryzen CPUs and more work on AMD GPUs.

The Intel p-state tweak is likely more to support vendors that modified the Target wattage of their CPU in notebooks vs the assumed default value. So it now queries the firmware to ask for its table vs using generic values. This could in theory slow down the CPU if they took a higher wattage part and tweaked the TDP in firmware to get it into a smaller chassis with less cooling. (think Apple and their macbook airs, some Dells, etc)

There are scheduler tweaks, improvements here and there, and lots of other work being done that could help but nothing I would say targeted on improving battery life, performance, etc for the current 11th gen intel based Framework. Those improvements are often found in other software vs the kernel these days. about 12 months after release most of the improvements tend to be found in the rest of the OS vs the kernel (window manager fixes, HID improvements, software optimizations, MESA, etc improvements).


Thank you for the detailed response @Christopher_Westphal!