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Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed

  • Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Until Next Week as Linus Torvalds Announces a Rare RC9
    While the Linux community was looking forwards to the final Linux 4.15 kernel release today, Linus Torvalds just delayed it for another week, announcing the ninth Release Candidate (RC) instead. It's not every day that you see a ninth Release Candidate in the development cycle of a new Linux kernel branch, but here we go, and we can only blame it on those pesky Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that affect us all, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks.
  • Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011
    Linus Torvalds has decided that Linux 4.15 needs a ninth release candidate, making it the first kernel release to need that much work since 2011. Torvalds flagged the possibility of an extra release candidate last week, with the caveat that “it obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge surprises” after “all the Meltdown and Spectre hoopla” made his job rather more complicated in recent weeks. Fast-forward another week and Torvalds has announced “I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it”.
  • No 4.15 final release today
    As might have been expected from watching the commit stream, the 4.15 kernel is not ready for release, so we'll get 4.15-rc9 instead. Linus said: "I really really wanted to just release 4.15 today, but things haven't calmed down enough for me to feel comfy about it, and Davem tells me he still has some networking fixes pending. Laura Abbott found and fixed a very subtle boot bug introduced this development cycle only yesterday, and it just didn't feel right to say that we're done."

Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage"

The patch submitted by David Woodhouse, ex-Intel kernel engineer that now works for Amazon described a so-called new feature for Intel processors to address Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) by creating macros that would restrict or unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation based on if the Intel CPU will advertise "I am able to be not broken." The "x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation" feature implies that the IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) bit needed to be set at boot time to "ask" the processor not to be broken. Linus Torvalds immediately reacted to the patch calling it "complete and utter garbage" despite the developer's efforts to explain why he implemented the nasty hack. Read more Original: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation

Android Leftovers

Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE

Long-time readers of the Linux distribution reviews on this blog know that I am a fan of Linux Mint, but I have had somewhat mixed experiences with KDE. When I've reviewed a new release of Linux Mint, I have occasionally reviewed its KDE edition in addition to its GNOME/MATE/Cinnamon and Xfce editions, generally finding that the KDE edition has too many minor bugs and not enough compelling features compared to the more mainstream editions. Apparently the Linux Mint developers feel similarly, as this is the last release of a KDE edition for Linux Mint; henceforth, they are only releasing MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce editions for a tighter focus on GTK-based DEs and applications. With that in mind, I figured it was worth reviewing a KDE edition of Linux Mint one final time. I tested it on a live USB system made with the "dd" command. Follow the jump to see what it's like. Read more