Linux 4.16 Receives More Spectre & Meltdown Fixes/Optimizations

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Security on 26 February 2018 at 11:16 AM EST. 8 Comments
The in-development Linux 4.16 kernel has already received a few rounds of updates for the mitigation work on the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities while more is on the way.

Thomas Gleixner today sent in another batch of "x86/pti" updates for Linux 4.16 in further addressing these CPU security vulnerabilities that were made public in early January.

With the core mitigation already in place, many developers have been focusing on optimizations to lessen the performance impact of having these features enabled. With this latest pull request there are optimizations for the entry Assembly code to reduce its footprint while making the code simpler and faster.

This code also has more sanitization work, more robust microcode loading, using IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) around firmware calls, objtool support for Retpolines, and various other fixes/improvements.

The complete list of patches for this latest batch of changes for Linux 4.16 can be found here.
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