GCC 7.3 Preparing For Release To Ship Spectre Patches

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 17 January 2018 at 09:18 AM EST. 16 Comments
GNU developers are preparing to quickly ship GCC 7.3 now in order to get out the Spectre patches, a.k.a. the compiler side bits for Retpoline with -mindirect-branch=thunk and friends.

It was just this past weekend that the back-ported patches landed in GCC 7 while now GCC 7.3 is being prepared as the branch's next bug-fix point release.

Richard Biener of SUSE announced that the GCC 7 branch is frozen ahead of GCC 7.3 RC1 and all changes now to that branch require release manager approval. But he notes, "As said I'm happily taking adjustments/enhancements to the spectre
mitigation patches."

GCC 7.3 should be out in the next few weeks as this bug-fix release while GCC 8.1 will be out in March~April as the next feature release.

As of writing, the Retpoline/Spectre work has yet to be back-ported to GCC 6.x or earlier, but there has been talk that it will be back-ported all the way to GCC 4.x compilers.
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