WireGuard VPN has been merged into Linux’s source tree for version 5.6

WireGuard VPN will be in Linux v5.6

Security and privacy protocol WireGuard will be in the Linux 5.6 kernel! WireGuard VPN is one the elements within the long list of features that Linux 5.6 will introduce. Numerous changes are expected in version 5.6, which will be launched mid-March 2020.

WireGuard VPN tunnel

WireGuard is a virtual private networking protocol. It stands out as a fast, modern and secure VPN tunnel; which aims to be more performant than other VPN solutions like OpenVPN. It is free and opensource — licensed GPLv2, as the Linux kernel.

It is designed for running on embedded interfaces and super computers alike. Although it is still under development, WireGuard can be considered as the most secure, easiest to use and simplest VPN solution. Indeed, Linus Torvalds is very excited about WireGuard’s merge into Linux; as he stated in an email on the Linux Kernel Mailing list:

“Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn’t perfect, but I’ve skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”

WireGuard VPN features

WireGuard’s highest performance comes from running in-kernel. Its inclusion in the Linux kernel should lead to significantly higher uptake in projects and organizations requiring virtual private network capability.

  • Simple and easy to use. Easy to configure and deploy as SSH, and easy to implement. It has significantly less lines of code than other VPNs.
  • Cryptographically sound. It uses exceptional cryptography, such as Noise protocol framework, Curve25519, HKDF or BLAKE2.
  • Highly performant. Considerable decreased battery usage, faster connection times and lower latencies.

For further details about the protocol, cryptography and fundamentals, you can read WireGuard’s technical whitepaper.

The Linux kernel

The Linux kernel is a monolithic, Unix-like operating system kernel. Free and open source, it was conceived in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The Linux OS family is based on this kernel, which dominates almost every segment of computing, from mobile devices to mainframes. For instance, the most powerful supercomputers run Linux.

Linux 5.6: new features

Besides WireGuard VPN, Linux version 5.6 will include many new features. Some of them are: F2FS data compression support, power management improvements for Radeon GPUs, faster memmove() performance for Intel Ice Lake, FSCRYPT inline encryption and EXT4 Direct I/O optimizations, among others.

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