Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

​Major Linux redesign in the works to deal with Intel security flaw

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Security

Long ago, Intel made a design mistake in its 64-bit chips -- and now, all Intel-based operating systems and their users must pay the price.

Linux's developers saw this coming early on and patched Linux to deal with it. That's the good news. The bad news is it will cause at least a 5-percent performance drop. Applications may see far more serious performance hits. The popular PostgreSQL database is estimated to see at least a 17-percent slowdown.

How bad will it really be? I asked Linux's creator Linus Torvalds, who said: "There's no one number. It will depend on your hardware and on your load. I think 5 percent for a load with a noticeable kernel component (e.g. a database) is roughly in the right ballpark. But if you do micro-benchmarks that really try to stress it, you might see double-digit performance degradation."

Read more

Google and Red Hat

  • Red Hat Says Security Updates for Meltdown & Spectre Bugs May Affect Performance

    Red Hat's John Terrill informs Softpedia today that Red Hat is aware of the two hardware bugs (Meltdown and Spectre) affecting most modern microprocessors and they're working on security updates to mitigate them on their supported operating systems.

    The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5753, CVE-2017-5715, and CVE-2017-5754) were publicly disclosed earlier today as critical hardware flaws affecting modern microprocessors made in the last two decades. These can be exploited by an unprivileged attacker to bypass hardware restrictions through three unique attack paths and gain read access to privileged memory.

    Red Hat Product Security provided us with several resources to better understand the impact of these hardware bugs on any of their supported Linux-based operating systems from an open source technology perspective. They said that Intel, AMD, POWER 8, POWER 9, IBM System z, and ARM chips are affected by the newly discovered vulnerabilities.

  • Google Makes Disclosure About The CPU Vulnerability Affecting Intel / AMD / ARM

    We're finally getting actual technical details on the CPU vulnerability leading to the recent race around (K)PTI that when corrected may lead to slower performance in certain situations. Google has revealed they uncovered the issue last year and have now provided some technical bits.

    Google says their Project Zero team last year discovered serious flaws in speculative execution that could lead to reading system memory where it shouldn't be authorized. Google was also able to demonstrate an attack where one VM could access the physical memory of the host machine and in turn read memory of other VMs on the same host.

Patched

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

RISC OS Liberated

  • Acorn Computer's RISC OS operating system finally goes fully open source
    RISC OS, the operating system that powered Acorn Computer's Archimedes computers in the 1980s and 1990s, has been fully released to open source. The move was welcomed by Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton: "RISC OS is a great demonstration of how much performance a well-tuned operating system and user interface can wring out of a platform. Moving to a free open source licence should bring a renewed interest to RISC OS." The shift to open source will enable the operating system to be used in new environments and markets, according to RISC OS Developments director Andrew Rawnsley. "This move unlocks a lot of opportunities for RISC OS that were previously inaccessible due to former licence restrictions. We look forward to seeing the exciting projects that this makes possible," said Rawnsley.
  • Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source
    RISC OS was designed and developed by Acorn Computers, once dubbed the Apple of Britain, in the 1980s to run on the fledgling 32-bit Arm processor family, also designed by Acorn. Yes, the Arm that now powers the world's smartphones, embedded electronics, Internet-of-Things, and more, although it's come a long way since its mid-1980s genesis. The operating system, meanwhile, began life as the rough-around-the-edges Arthur 1.20 in 1987 for the ARM2-powered Archimedes A305 and A310, and by 1989, had morphed into the more slick RISC OS 2, written mostly in handcrafted assembly language for performance and memory-footprint reasons.

Android Leftovers

Qt 5.9.7 Released

Qt 5.9.7 is released today. As a patch release Qt 5.9.7 does not add any new functionality, but provides important bug fixes and other improvements. Compared to Qt 5.9.6, the new Qt 5.9.7 contains almost 60 bug fixes. In total there are around 180 changes in Qt 5.9.7 compared to Qt 5.9.6. For details of the most important changes, please check the Change files of Qt 5.9.7. Qt 5.9.7 can be updated to using the maintenance tool of the online installer. For new installations, please download latest online installer from Qt Account portal or from qt.io Download page. Offline packages are available for commercial users in the Qt Account portal and at the qt.io Download page for open-source users. Read more

Great News! Linus Torvalds is Back in Charge of Linux

Linus Torvalds is back in charge of Linux Kernel development. It remains to be seen whether he has improved his behavior and become a gentler person or not. Read more