Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux 5.0, the latest version of the Linux kernel, and once again it pulls in a range of improvements and new features for the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).

Linux has boasted support for the open RISC-V ISA for a while, now, to the point where it’s possible to build a fully-functional desktop using off-the-shelf hardware. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do, however, and the launch of the Linux 5.0 kernel brings with it a range of improvements highlighted by CNX Software.

For the RISC-V ISA, these improvements include improved support for RV64I-based RISC-V implementations, a fix for a bug which would see CPUs attempting to enter a sleep mode when the system should be shutting down, support for RV32I MODULE_SECTIONS, and a new architecture-agnostic SBI ‘earlycon’ driver. Other improvements include fixes to improve the auditability of Linux on RISC-V architectures.

Linux 5.0 doesn’t concentrate purely on RISC-V, of course: embedded developers will also be interested in the new features and improvements made on the proprietary Arm and recently-royalty-freed MIPS architectures – the former receiving, among other things, a new energy-aware scheduling (EAS) feature for Arm’s big.LITTLE asymmetric multiprocessing platforms and the latter the ability to build a kernel with zero floating point support for nanoMIPS compatibility.

The success, and continued development, of RISC-V in the Linux kernel is a heartening sign that adoption of the free and open source ISA is already healthy and growing – and it will be very interesting to see what the next couple of Linux releases bring. More information on Linux 5.0, meanwhile, can be found on the Linux Kernel Mailing List.