Wireguard included in kernel 5.6, but what’s the fuzz about?

Linux kernel 5.6 has been officially released and one of the most anticipated features is the inclusion of the popular VPN service Wireguard.

For those who are not familiar with this VPN service might think, oh, that’s nice… Well, Wireguard isn’t your average VPN service, it excels in its simplicity and minimal codebase.

Wireguard has around 4000 lines of code in its codebase and that is extremely minimal for a VPN service as such, in comparison, OpenVPN has over 100.000 lines of code. This light codebase means it is much easier to debug and secure, so the service can adapt to threads and bugs much quicker than its competition.

A work of art

Linus Torvalds praises the service for its simplicity and he was a fan long before the service was included in the kernel. In fact, he hinted earlier for including it on the Linux kernel by saying:

 “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.”

Don’t let the minimal structure fool you, Wireguard supports the most up-to-date cryptography technology and it has been proven secure by academic standards.

Backports

That the service is being included in kernel 5.6 should mean only early-adopting distro users like Gentoo, Fedora or ours could benefit from it for now.

To meet the rest of the Linux community, Wireguard service has been already backported for Debian Buster and the upcoming Ubuntu 20.4 LTS release. Being backported for those distros could result in a backport for the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel also.

Just keep an eye on the update-notifier this coming fortnight, kernel 5.6 will most likely hit the stable repo in this timeframe.

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