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Exploring Linux Kernel 6.9: New Features and Improvements

Rohan Timalsina

May 28, 2024 - TuxCare expert team

The latest stable version of the Linux kernel, 6.9, was released on May 12, 2024. This exciting update brings several new features and improved hardware support to the table, making it a significant upgrade for many users. However, it is important to remember that Linux kernel 6.9 is a short-lived branch that will be supported for only a few months.


Linux Kernel 6.9 Highlights


Enhanced Hardware Support

  • AArch64 (ARM64) architectures gain support for the Rust programming language, opening doors for more efficient and secure code.
  • The kernel now supports the Intel Flexible Return and Event Delivery (FRED) mechanism, which enhances low-level event delivery.
  • Linux kernel 6.9 introduces support for AMD Secure Nested Paging (SNP) guests. This feature provides enhanced security for virtualized environments, ensuring better isolation and protection for guest virtual machines.


File System and Storage Improvements


  • F2FS: Received zoned block device support, per-file compression, and improved data recovery after power cuts.
  • exFAT: Improved directory synchronization performance.
  • EXT4: Added an inode flag for atomic writes and online resize improvements.
  • Btrfs: Implemented more zoned mode fixes and minor performance optimizations.


Performance and Security Enhancements


  • Memory management performance sees a boost for smoother system operation in Linux kernel 6.9.
  • The perf tool gets an upgrade with several new features for more efficient performance analysis.
  • The RFDS (Register File Data Sampling) vulnerability affecting some Intel Atom processors has been mitigated for improved security.


Networking Improvements


  • MPTCP receives support for TCP_NOTSENT_LOWAT, optimizing data transfer across multiple connections.
  • IPSec gains the ability to forward ICMP Error messages for better network troubleshooting.
  • Support for wider-bandwidth OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) enables efficient data transmission in wireless networks.


New Drivers and Hardware Support

Linux kernel 6.9 introduces drivers for various new hardware components, including ChromeOS’s Embedded Controller, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processor, and several Samsung Bluetooth devices.


Deprecated and Removed Features

The EXT2 file system has been marked as deprecated due to its incompatibility with the Year 2038 problem, and the old NTFS implementation has been removed, defaulting to NTFS3 for NTFS file system support.




With these extensive updates and improvements, Linux kernel 6.9 continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with open-source software, ensuring better performance, security, and hardware support for all users. However, it will have a short lifespan with support lasting only a few months. The development window for Linux kernel 6.10 has already opened, with its release expected in mid or late September 2024. For those eager to experience the improvements offered by Linux kernel 6.9, you can download it now from Linus Torvalds’ git tree or the official website.

TuxCare’s KernelCare Enterprise enables automated live patching for the Linux kernel in all popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian, AlmaLinux, CentOS, RHEL, Rocky Linux, CloudLinux, Oracle Linux, and more.

Send patching-related questions to a TuxCare security expert to learn about modernizing your Linux security approach with automated and rebootless patching.


The sources for this article include a story from 9to5Linux.

Exploring Linux Kernel 6.9: New Features and Improvements
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Exploring Linux Kernel 6.9: New Features and Improvements
Learn about the exciting new features and improved hardware support in Linux kernel 6.9. Stay up to date with the latest advancements.
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