Linux Mint project advises on Meltdown and Spectre

The Linux Mint project has released a guide to address the Meltdown and Spectre bugs offering instructions for users on how they should mitigate the holes in their systems. It explains how to tighten up your web browsers and driver software, as well as providing a status update on when we can expect a patch to the kernel.

The main browser that’s bundled with the operating system is Firefox. The advice is to ensure you update to Firefox 57.0.4, which was released several days ago. As for Chrome and Opera, you should go into the respective flags pages and enable strict site isolation, also called site per process. Google plans to fix the bug next month when it releases the next major edition of Google Chrome. An Opera update will follow.

With the main browsers covered, attention turns to Nvidia drivers. If you’re running Linux Mint 17.x or Linux Mint 18.x and use the proprietary Nvidia drivers there is now an update available in the Update Manager, apply it and you should then be on version 384.111. If you’re on LMDE, head to the Nvidia website for the latest driver.

The last bit of the system to secure is the kernel. If you’re running LMDE crack open the Update Manager and install Linux kernel 3.16.51-3+deb8u1. For those on Mint 17.x and 18.x, the instruction is just to wait and stay tuned for the patch. As a side note, only the kernel that ships with your version of Mint will get the incoming patch for the time being so if you have altered the kernel switch back to stock.

The Mint team finished up by saying that you should keep your system backed up with tools like Timeshift, which shipped in the latest release, apply security updates as you get them, and stay away from third-party applications as well as websites you don’t trust on systems that haven’t yet been patched. If you’re having trouble receiving the update for Firefox, you can change the mirrors in the Update Manager by going to Edit, Software Sources, Official repositories, Mirrors and then selecting the main and base mirrors. The tool will automatically point out the best ones.

Source: Linux Mint

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