Memory Protection Extensions Not Done For Linux 3.14
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 21 January 2014 at 01:46 AM EST. 5 Comments
The Intel MPX support, a feature of next year's "Skylake" processors, isn't yet done for the Linux kernel but the early infrastructure work will land with the Linux 3.14 kernel.

Submitted on Monday by Peter Anvin for the Linux 3.14 merge window is the basic infrastructure work for Memory Protection Extensions, a feature coming to Intel CPUs beginning with next year's Skylake -- not to be confused with the Broadwell CPUs shipping in a few months.

MPX is a new x86 instruction extension and set of registers that bring greater security through checking pointer references for fending off buffer overflows.

Intel MPX isn't just implemented as a kernel feature but also requires changes to the compiler and run-time libraries.

For those not familiar with Intel Memory Protection Extensions I had written about MPX support still baking for Linux earlier this month.

The initial MPX kernel work was part of the x86/cpufeature pull request and introduces the basic kernel infrastructure for this feature. This pull request doesn't provide MPX support itself but just the basic support. This early support was landed for the KVM support for MPX that is expected to land later in the 3.14 merge window.

More details on this early kernel work for Intel MPX can be found via this pull request.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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