The Linux 5.17 kernel was scheduled for last week, but has been held up by embargoed patches for Spectre vulnerabilities in AMD processors.

The final release of the 5.17 Linux kernel has been delayed due to the late release of patches for Spectre vulnerabilities in AMD processors. Linux chief Linus Torvalds announced that the patches clashed with the final build.

Specifically, the patches involved Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities for some AMD processors (CVE-2021-26341). The Spectre vulnerability allowed data to be leaked via unconditional branches and detectable cache activity.

The vulnerability affected as many as 14 AMD client CPUs and AMD’s first- and second-generation EPYC models for servers. The patch didn’t come out until March 8 of this year, after being postponed a month earlier.

Automated testing

Though the patch arrived on time for the release of Linux kernel 5.17, some bugs were encountered during testing. As a result, the kernel release has been postponed for one week, allowing room for automated testing. Several non-Spectre issues were fixed at the last minute as well.

Rc-8 version and new release date

Rc-8 has been released as an interim version. Once again, Torvalds urges users to test it thoroughly, thereby lessening developers’ dependence on automated testing. The final release of the 5.17 Linux kernel is scheduled for March 20, 2022.

Tip: Linux hit by very serious Dirty Pipe vulnerability