Ubuntu, perhaps the most popular Linux distribution, on the desktop, which has multitudes of other distributions depending on it to send out security updates, has announced that it will update the kernels of all supported releases in order to mitigate the newly publicly disclosed Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, by January 9th.
Dustin Kirkland, Product and Strategy at Ubuntu, said:
“Canonical engineers have been working on this since we were made aware under the embargoed disclosure (November 2017) and have worked through the Christmas and New Years holidays, testing and integrating and incredibly complex patch set into a broad set of Ubuntu kernels and CPU architectures.”
According to Kirkland, Ubuntu users of “the 64-bit x86 architecture (aka, amd64)” can expect patched kernels, it’s unclear what will happen with 32-bit installs, though. The updates will be available for the Linux 4.13 HWE kernel on Ubuntu 17,10, for Linux 4.4 (and 4.4 HWE) on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, for Linux 3.13 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and for Linux 3.2 on Ubuntu 12.04 ESM; keep in mind that an Ubuntu Advantage license is required for Ubuntu 12.04 ESM because the release is past its end-of-life.
Canonical plans to launch Ubuntu 18.04 in April this year, it’ll ship with Linux 4.15 which includes the KPTI patchset which was integrated upstream.