Linus Torvalds Sees Lots of Hardware Headaches Ahead

Linux founder Linus Torvalds, today at the KubeCon + CloudNative + Open Source Summit China conference, warned attendees that managing software is about to become a lot more challenging, largely because of two hardware issues that are beyond the control of DevOps teams.

The first, he said, is the steady stream of patches being generated as new cybersecurity issues related to the speculative execution model that Intel and other processor vendors rely on to accelerate performance. That model is the root cause of malware such as Spectre and Meltdown that have roiled the IT industry. Additional bugs in speculative execution with colorful names such as Fallout and ZombieLoad are showing up more frequently. Each of those bugs requires another patch to the Linux kernel that, depending on when they arrive, can require painful updates to the kernel, Torvalds told conference attendees.