Linus Torvalds has officially launched Linux 5.3, the latest release of the popular open-source kernel, and it brings with it a range of improvements and new features for the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).

“So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8 [release candidate 8],” Torvalds writes in the release announcement. “Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behaviour. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the spelling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues.”

CNX Software has pulled out the changes of biggest interest to embedded developers, including those working with the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. These include image-header support for RISC-V kernel binaries, designed to be compatible with ARM64 image headers, a two-stage initial page table setup process, support for CONFIG_SOC starting with SiFive’s range of RISC-V systems-on-chips, DT data for the SiFive FU540 and HiFive Unleashed’s gigabit Ethernet controller, support for PCI Express message-signalled interrupts, and support for the new clone3 RV64 syscall.

Additional RISC-V-related changes include the addition of a new maintainer, Paul Walmsley, and a switch to a new shared RISC-V git tree – and, interestingly, a fix for an issue in the script which was triggered for patches involving SiFive email addresses.

Linux 5.3, as with all Linux releases, is available now from the Linux kernel archive site.