KPTI Support For 64-bit ARM Getting Buttoned Up Ahead Of Linux 4.16
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 14 January 2018 at 07:27 AM EST. 5 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) landed at the start of the year for x86/x86_64 systems for fending off the much talked about CPU attacks while the ARM64 / 64-bit ARM code is still a work-in-progress but looks like it will be squared away for the upcoming Linux 4.16 kernel cycle.

There is this Git branch and the base work for those wishing to track the last minute alterations. There is currently the latest KPTI page table isolation patches for ARM64 and does include a return trampoline, a new HARDEN_BRANCH_PREDICTOR Kconfig switch, branch predictor hardening for Falkor and Cortex-A CPUs, and other security hardening improvements.


This functionality will be enabled by default on ARM64 SoCs. It will be interesting to benchmark it once mainlined and will be interesting to see if all of this work gets backported and how many of the different SoC/board vendors will send down timely kernel updates, given the mess that is the ARM Linux kernel situation with a lot of fragmentation and different kernel versions through the dozens (hundreds?) of different ARM SBCs with its unique landscape.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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