Linus Torvalds is a Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and principal developer of the Linux kernel, which is a widely used operating system kernel. He also created the revision control system Git. Torvalds is a major contributor to the development of the Open Source community.
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Linus Torvalds Postpones Linux Kernel 5.17 Because of Spectre Problems
What is the Linux Kernel?
The Linux Kernel is the core of the Linux operating system. It is responsible for managing the system’s resources, such as memory, processors, and devices. The kernel is also responsible for ensuring that different programs and users can safely share these resources.
The Linux Kernel is constantly being updated to improve performance and security. The most recent version, Linux Kernel 5.17, was released on May 3, 2020. However, due to some problems with the Spectre security vulnerabilities, Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, has postponed the release of Linux Kernel 5.17.
The Spectre vulnerabilities allow malicious programs to bypass security controls and access sensitive data. These vulnerabilities are difficult to fix because they are based on the way modern processors work.
The Linux Kernel team is working on a fix for the Spectre vulnerabilities, but it is taking longer than expected. In the meantime, Torvalds has decided to postpone the release of Linux Kernel 5.17. He hopes to release the fixed version of the kernel soon.
What are the Spectre problems?
As you may recall, the Spectre problems are a set of security vulnerabilities that affect modern processors. These vulnerabilities allow an attacker to trick a program into executing code that it shouldn’t, potentially allowing them to access sensitive data.
The Linux kernel has been affected by these vulnerabilities, and in response, the kernel developers have been working on patches to mitigate the exploit. However, it seems that the patches are not yet ready for prime time, as Linus Torvalds has announced that he is postponing the release of the Linux kernel 5.17.
It’s not clear exactly what the problem is, but it seems that the Spectre patches are causing problems on some systems. Until the developers can figure out a way to fix the issue, it’s best to wait to upgrade to the new kernel. In the meantime, you can continue to use the Linux kernel 5.16, which is still supported.
Why did Linus Torvalds postpone Linux Kernel 517?
The primary reason for the postponement of Linux Kernel 517 was due to unresolved Spectre v2 security issues. In his announcement, Linus Torvalds stated that the kernel team was “not happy” with the current state of the patches for these vulnerabilities. He went on to say that while the patches may be technically sound, they cause “unacceptable performance regressions” and that the team needs more time to work on them.
It’s worth noting that Spectre v2 is a particularly tricky problem to solve. The vulnerabilities it exploited are present in most modern processors, and the patches that have been developed to mitigate them come with a significant performance cost. For this reason, it’s not surprising that the Linux kernel team would need more time to get the patches right.
In the meantime, users are advised to continue using the Linux kernel 5.16 series. This series includes a number of important security fixes, including for the Spectre v2 vulnerabilities, and is considered to be stable and reliable.
What does this mean for the future of the Linux Kernel?
The postponement of the Linux Kernel 5.17 release due to Spectre security problems is a setback for the open-source community. However, it does not mean that the Linux Kernel is going to be abandoned or that the community is going to give up on trying to fix the Spectre issue. The community is still working hard to find a solution and they will continue to do so until the problem is fixed. In the meantime, the community is urging users to stay updated on the latest security patches and to keep their systems up-to-date.