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 --
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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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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