Linux 4.16 arrives, bringing more Spectre and Meltdown fixes

So did Linus Torvalds get the 'normal and entirely boring' release that he wanted?
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director
Image: Aalto University/YouTube

The latest version of the Linux kernel, 4.16, has arrived, bringing with it more fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown flaws.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds had been hoping for a "normal and entirely boring release cycle" for 4.16 after the excitement of the last Linux release, 4.15, being dominated by Spectre and Meltdown patches.

It seems that he almost got his way: while there was a last-minute influx of networking updates in release candidate 7 (RC7) of 4.16, it seems there was nothing to stop Torvalds from going ahead with the launch on 1 April.

"So the take from final week of the 4.16 release looks a lot like RC7, in that about half of it is networking. If it wasn't for that, it would all be very small and calm," Torvalds wrote in the release announcement.

"We had a number of fixes and cleanups elsewhere, but none of it made me go 'uhhuh, better let this soak for another week'," he said.

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"Outside of networking, most of the last week was various arch fixlets (powerpc, arm, x86, arm64), some driver fixes (mainly scsi and rdma)and misc other noise (documentation, vm, perf)," he added.

As Torvalds acknowledged when Linux 4.15 went live "it's not like we're 'done' with Spectre/Meltdown" and, as well as the networking updates, as detailed by Phoronix, the latest version of the Linux kernel includes more fixes for Spectre and Meltdown exploits against 64-bit, Arm-based processors and the S390 Spectre defense, called 'expoline'.

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