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The Linux Kernel Might Drop Memory Protection Extensions Support

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  • The Linux Kernel Might Drop Memory Protection Extensions Support

    Phoronix: The Linux Kernel Might Drop Memory Protection Extensions Support

    Yesterday I wrote about GCC developers moving to drop Intel MPX support and now the Linux kernel developers are looking at dropping the Memory Protection Extensions support too, thereby rendering this modern CPU feature unsupported by Linux...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...hing-Intel-MPX

  • #2
    Presumably the entire technology must be flawed in some non-fixable way. Otherwise why would this be happening?

    Plenty of features go unmaintained for years...

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    • #3
      From Wikipedia:

      Intel MPX (Memory Protection Extensions) is a set of extensions to the x86 instruction set architecture. With compiler, runtime library and operating system support, Intel MPX brings increased security to software by checking pointer references whose normal compile-time intentions are maliciously exploited at runtime due to buffer overflows.

      A review concluded MPX was not production ready, and AddressSanitizer was a better option.[13] A review by Kostya Serebryany at Google, AddressSanitizer's developer,[14] had similar findings.[15]

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      • #4
        Maybe they should be checking if MSVC and Windows even supported those features.

        If the OS used by 90% of the world's desktop and laptop computers does not even support them, then just drop them from the kernel.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MeissnerEffect View Post
          From Wikipedia:
          Yes, I just put that in Wikipedia to inform the readers here! haha, it's full circle now!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
            Maybe they should be checking if MSVC and Windows even supported those features.

            If the OS used by 90% of the world's desktop and laptop computers does not even support them, then just drop them from the kernel.
            Except the server market share isn't 90%! Also, as a developer feature (rather than MPX being server ready) Linux may have 20% market share https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Desktop_and_lapto p_computers 'by next year's survey fewer than 50% of developers may be using Windows" – that is, for 2017'
            Last edited by Widefox; 28 April 2018, 01:14 PM. Reason: fixed URL and added 2017 quote to find right section

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MeissnerEffect View Post
              From Wikipedia:
              *calmly puts away pitch fork*

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                Maybe they should be checking if MSVC and Windows even supported those features.

                If the OS used by 90% of the world's desktop and laptop computers does not even support them, then just drop them from the kernel.
                It was added to MS Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 but just like with GCC you have to actively enable it when compiling and it requires Windows 10 in order to work. If the Windows 10 kernel uses MPX or not however I do not know, just that Intel released a MPX driver for Windows 10 to support apps compiled with MPX enabled.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Widefox View Post

                  Except the server market share isn't 90%!
                  Nobody gives a flying f*** about servers.

                  Also, as a developer feature (rather than MPX being server ready) Linux may have 20% market share https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_...ystems#Desktop and laptop computers
                  Only desperate fanboys who refuse to face reality resort to referencing obsolete data from 2016.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by F.Ultra View Post

                    It was added to MS Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 but just like with GCC you have to actively enable it when compiling and it requires Windows 10 in order to work. If the Windows 10 kernel uses MPX or not however I do not know, just that Intel released a MPX driver for Windows 10 to support apps compiled with MPX enabled.
                    Then it's supported. And the article also mentioned that Intel is still sending patches for it upstream no?

                    Probably shouldn't be dropped if that is the case methinks.

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