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Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Linus Finally Releases Linux 4.15 Kernel, Blames Intel For Delay ( 55

An anonymous reader writes: Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.15 following the lengthy development cycle due to the Spectre v2 and Meltdown CPU vulnerability mitigation work. This update comes with many kernel improvements including RISC-V architecture support, AMDGPU Display Code support, Intel Coffee Lake graphics support, and many other improvements.
"This obviously was not a pleasant release cycle, with the whole meltdown/spectre thing coming in in the middle of the cycle and not really gelling with our normal release cycle," Linus writes. "The extra two weeks were obviously mainly due to that whole timing issue... [T]he news cycle notwithstanding, the bulk of the 4.15 work is all the regular plodding 'boring' stuff. And I mean that in the best possible way. It may not be glamorous and get the headlines, but it's the bread and butter of kernel development, and is in many ways the really important stuff.

"Go forth and play with it, things actually look pretty good despite everything. And obviously this also means that the merge window for 4.16 is open... Hopefully we'll have a _normal_ and entirely boring release cycle for 4.16. Because boring really is good."
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Linus Finally Releases Linux 4.15 Kernel, Blames Intel For Delay

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  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Monday January 29, 2018 @12:35AM (#56024405)

    ... intel.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I thought everyone in the super-fun-secret club knew about Spectre and Meltdown like 6 months ago, because it took them time to code up fixes? I'm guessing Linux kernel devs weren't part of the super-fun-secret club?

      • Buggy Fixes (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Monday January 29, 2018 @04:47AM (#56025005) Homepage

        I thought everyone in the super-fun-secret club knew about Spectre and Meltdown like 6 months ago, because it took them time to code up fixes? I'm guessing Linux kernel devs weren't part of the super-fun-secret club?

        In general, Linux devs happens to have been working for a general class of technology (KAISER, now KPTI) that happens to also be useful against Meltdown (in addition to tons of other problems).
        So from the perspective of Linux devs, not much changed (and it is the general mantra in team Linus Torvalds, that *any* bugs is a serious bug, no matter if it is a security one or not - so it's a general tendency that when there are security reports, it's business as usual).

        The problem comes from the answer of the manufacturers :

        - intel botched patches they were submitting (see Linus' ire about them), intel provided buggy firmware (CPU microcode) that causes problems and that Dell and HP ended-up delaying. Intel has tried to enable Meltdown circumvention for everyone even if they're almost the only constructor that's concerned, etc.

        - AMD still can't really decide if version 2 of Spectre (abusing the indiredct branch prediction) can actually lead to an actual usable exploit in the wild or not. Though they at least now have determined that a few of their CPUs (since Zen, I think) are affected. So at least for now it's "enable retpoline for them, too".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29, 2018 @01:19AM (#56024483)

    He blames the Meltdown/Spectre mess in general (duh!), but he only blames the timing, which is either the discoverer's fault, or Microsoft's: the embargo was timed to coincide with patch Tuesday.

    While the root cause may be placed at Intel's door, the timing of the disclosure after 10+ years of vulnerability is hardly Intel's choice, and Linus (correctly) refrains from linking them to it in any way.

  • Jesus Christ (Score:5, Informative)

    by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Monday January 29, 2018 @02:17AM (#56024677)
    Stop with the whiny editorializing in the headlines. Headlines are for facts, not for your opinion about how long it should take people who do real work to do it.
    • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29, 2018 @03:06AM (#56024801)

      Headlines are for creating an emotional reaction in people to make them more likely to click on the article to read and/or comment. Guess who it worked on?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "EditorDavid" is doing his job: troll the users to create as many page impressions as possible. It's not to fix submission errors, check the source, or even to check the facts. "His" role is to generate advert impressions on a dying site.

    • Linus said himself that he was very unhappy with how long its taken them to get it out, and how it's been years since they last had such a long delay. Seems like a fairly accurate headline to me
    • by tgeek ( 941867 )
      Holy Cow! You're bitching about the word "finally" in a headline??? Is it that particular adverb that offends you? Or would you be just as outraged had the chosen adverb been "quickly"?
    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      What editorializing? The new kernal has been released, it was delayed, the reason, says Linus, was meltdown/spectre. All of that is contained in the headline, all of those things are facts, nothing else is contained in the headline.

      Are you commenting in the wrong story? Also, regardless of the story you're reading: headlines are not for facts. Headlines are there to grab people's attention and get them to read the full story. They're basically advertisements.
  • Imagine what they would come up with... faster than light travel or something like that im sure. Seriously, Imagine what a group of these fine folks could do.... save our fucked up world maybe.
    • BTW, we just had the presidential election in Finland on Sunday. Linus's father was one of the 8 candidates and he got the least votes, much to my dismay; he stood out as the intelligent and frank one among all the typical politicians who try not to hurt the feelings of the drooling masses. It's easy to see where Linus got his way of speech :)

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.