Spectre mitigation updates available for testing in Ubuntu Proposed


Canonical holds Ubuntu to the highest standards of security and quality.  This week we published candidate Ubuntu kernels providing mitigation for CVE-2017-5715 and CVE-2017-5753 (ie, Spectre / Variants 1 & 2) to their respective -proposed pockets for Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful), 16.04 LTS (Xenial), and 14.04 LTS (Trusty).  We have also expanded mitigation to cover s390x and ppc64el.

You are invited to test and provide feedback for the following updated Linux kernels.  We have also rebased all derivative kernels such as the public cloud kernels (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc) and the Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernels.

Updates for Ubuntu 12.04 ESM are in progress, and will be available for Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage customers.  UA customers should reach out to Canonical support for access to candidate kernels.

We intend to promote the candidate kernels to the -security/-updates pocket for General Availability (GA) on Monday, January 22, 2018.

There is a corresponding intel-microcode update for many Intel CPUs, as well as an eventual amd64-microcode update, that will also need to be applied in order to fully mitigate Spectre.  In the interest of full disclosure, we understand from Intel that there are currently known issues with the intel-microcode binary:

Canonical QA and Hardware Certification teams are engaged in extensive, automated and manual testing of these kernels and the Intel microcode kernel updates on Ubuntu certified hardware, and Ubuntu certified public clouds.  The primary focus is on regression testing and security effectiveness.   We are actively investigating Google’s “Retpoline” toolchain-based approach, which requires rebuilding Ubuntu binaries but reduce performance impact of the mitigation.

For your reference, the following links explain how to enable Ubuntu’s Proposed repositories, and how to file Linux kernel bugs:

The most current information will continue to be available at:

@Canonical

Ubuntu cloud

Ubuntu offers all the training, software infrastructure, tools, services and support you need for your public and private clouds.

Newsletter signup

Select topics you're
interested in

In submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and agree to Canonical's Privacy Notice and Privacy Policy.

Related posts

Telefonica Brazil selects Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack for industry-leading cloud-based online charging system

13th January 2021 – Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, today announced that its Charmed OpenStack has been selected by Telefonica Brazil to – in a first for...

Improving CLI output with jq

Welcome back to our series on MAAS CLI operations. In our previous post, we learned how to acquire and deploy machines using the MAAS CLI. It was also evident...

Snaps and themes – on the path to seamless desktop integration

Alongside performance, theming is one of the primary concerns for desktop snap users. People expect applications bundled inside snaps to look and behave just...