Linux 3.19 Kernel Adds Intel MPX Support For Skylake

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 9 December 2014 at 11:12 AM EST. 3 Comments
We've been talking about Intel MPX support in the kernel for one year and with the upcoming Linux 3.19 kernel that support is finally being realized.

MPX in this context is short for Memory Protection Extensions. The Intel Memory Protection Extensions is an x86 ISA extension aiming to increase software security by checking pointer references for protecting against buffer overflows or underflows. The kernel side support goes along with compiler changes for enabling MPX. This software security/debug feature is being introduced on the hardware side with next year's Skylake processors.

There's over one thousand lines of new code for supporting x86 MPX within the kernel and that code is now slated to land in Linux 3.19. Thomas Gleixner sent in the pull request. "MPX is a new debug feature for bound checking in user space. It requires kernel support to handle the bound tables and decode the bound violating instruction in the trap handler."

The Linux 3.19 kernel also brings other initial enablement for Skylake, including initial graphics support.
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