FreeBSD, LLVM, and Spectre-v1

Rick Miller vrwmiller at
Tue Jul 24 15:53:47 UTC 2018

Hi all,

The "Speculative Load Hardening" design[1] proposed to mitigate Spectre-v1
through a compiler-based approach in LLVM describes a limitation of this
approach to the problem as it "requires re-compiling source code to insert
hardening instruction sequences. Only software compiled in this mode is

In the context of FreeBSD, does this also apply to userland and Ports? The
above point seems to imply Ports or other software not built with this
toolchain will remain vulnerable. Or perhaps, by virtue of of the OS being
built using an updated compiler, will userland and Ports inherently be


Take care
Rick Miller

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