OpenBSD & FreeBSD Are Still Formulating Kernel Plans To Address Meltdown+Spectre

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Security on 6 January 2018 at 07:21 AM EST. 8 Comments
On Friday DragonFlyBSD's Matthew Dillon already landed his DragonFly kernel fixes for the Meltdown vulnerability affecting Intel CPUs. But what about the other BSDs?

As outlined in that article yesterday, DragonFlyBSD founder Matthew Dillon quickly worked through better kernel/user separation with their code to address the Intel CPU bug. Similar to Linux, the DragonFlyBSD fix should cause minimal to small CPU performance impact for most workloads while system call heavy / interrupt-heavy workloads (like I/O and databases) could see more significant drops.

Here's what some of the other BSDs are doing:

FreeBSD developers posted they were notified about the Meltdown and Spectre attacks in late December. They are currently still figuring out their plans for fending off these possible attacks and have no estimates yet when patches may be available.

OpenBSD developers responded that they've received no non-public information and they too are still figuring out how to address these vulnerabilities from their kernel. At this point they don't know about applying it only to Intel CPUs or if there will be any switch for enabling/disabling their yet-to-be-written patches. So right now they still are early in formulating their response.

As of writing I have yet to see any other BSDs send out any related patches or announce their plans/estimates for addressing Spectre and Meltdown.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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