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I have GNU/Linux running on an (obviously recent enough) Intel CPU. I've heard about the grave security flaws which have surfaced, Spectre and Meltdown, although I haven't read the details yet.

I've read there's been work done to patch kernels and application software - but I don't see any big update available to me via the distribution's package management.

What should I do to protect my system (if anything)?

Notes:

  • I use GNU/Linux Mint 18.3 (it's based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS), but I was thinking the question could be answered more generally.
  • I would rather not start building a bunch of software "myself", but if that's necessary I suppose I could do that.
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    I've been following the news for my own distro (openSUSE). Their engineers are currently working on patches and should be pushing out updates in the coming days. I imagine it's no different for Mint. – n8te Jan 6 '18 at 9:57
  • Mint == Ubuntu == Debian, sort of. Wait! – Hannu Jan 6 '18 at 13:51
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    Just have patience, kernels will get patched for this like all other vulnerabilities, and most likely before any real-world exploits cause issues. Just maintain regular updates and you should be fine. – acejavelin Jan 6 '18 at 14:40
  • Security through obscurity is not always the best policy. – Damon Jan 6 '18 at 14:51
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    You should do nothing except update your system and verify you install the appropriate patch. Since this type of likely would be at the kernel level, and while you could build the kernel yourself but probably don’t want to do that, just determine what the appropriate patch is for Mint 18.3. These vulnerabilities were published a week early by the way. forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=260913 – Ramhound Jan 6 '18 at 15:07

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