Response to Meltdown and Spectre

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Sun Feb 4 16:21:14 UTC 2018

On Sat, February 3, 2018 11:56 pm, Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions wrote:
> On Sat, 3 Feb 2018 19:21:56 -0600 (CST), Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>>On Sat, February 3, 2018 7:00 pm, Christian Weisgerber wrote:
>>> On 2018-02-03, "Valeri Galtsev" <galtsev at> wrote:
>>>> With all due respect, one person saying, it didn't affect me,
>>>> doesn't prove it is not disastrous for somebody else. Even if it is
>>>> one machine out of thousand that is "bricked" for some time, it is
>>>> a disaster for sysadmin who has that machine as a production
>>>> server
>>> Of course, but who at all is saying that Intel's microcode updates
>>> have "bricked" any machines?  This appears to be an entirely spurious
>>> claim, based on nothing other than grievous exaggeration that turns
>>> "higher system reboots" into "bricked". You guys are talking each
>>> other into a frenzy of fear over nothing.
>>For all production server I run any reboot that is not scheduled by
>>admins is ultimate disaster, so it is equivalent to "bricked" machine.
>>That hardware can not be further used as production server, but "mere"
>>fact or reboot is ultimate disaster itself.
>>I bet I am not the only sysadmin with this point of view. That is why I
>>said production server is by no means comparable to sobody's home
>>workstation. But I bet many people have the same attitude to their home
>>workstations as I have to servers I am responsible for. Well, I for one
>>have the same attitude to all my computers, including laptops, and as a
>>sysadmin - to all computers of people I support.
>>Of course, some people may have different point of view on this, which
>>does not deprive me of expecting from my hardware to work without
>>My apologies for being edgy. These things make me such.
> Valeri, consider to run a server for testng purpose based upon an Intel
> CPU, but don't use Meltdown and Spectre fixes, then try to get
> unauthorised access via a network, by using the Meltdown and Spectre
> vulnerability. Please, after doing so, report back.

There is no good answer to that. We all are in crap, and whatever one does
leads to bad outcome. It is like zugzwang in chess. Apparently you chose
the other of two bads than I did ;-)


Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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