Linux progenitor Linus Torvalds has already shared his feelings regarding the bungles of Spectre and Meltdown. They weren’t happy ones. Now that patches are available, Torvalds is even less impressed, describing Intel’s effort as “complete and utter garbage”.
In a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Torvalds didn’t hold back when it came to his thoughts on the chip manufacturer’s attempts to address the security issues of speculative execution in Linux.
Here’s what he had to say in a reply to David Woodhouse, an Linux kernel engineer at Intel:
Have you _looked_ at the patches you are talking about? You should have – several of them bear your name. … Somebody is pushing complete garbage for unclear reasons. Sorry for having to point that out. … As it is, the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE.
The reply also included this gem:
They do literally insane things. They do things that do not make sense. That makes all your arguments questionable and suspicious. The patches do things that are not sane.
Unsurprisingly, the post contains a fair chunk of technical content that will go over the heads of most, but you don’t have to know anything about Linux or processor design to understand this:
WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?
Torvalds goes on to state that “the whole hardware interface is literally mis-designed by morons” and the way Intel has approached the problem “implies [it] will never fix [the interface]”.