Future Support of hardened-sources Kernel

Title: Future Support of hardened-sources Kernel
Author: Anthony G. Basile <blueness@gentoo.org>
Content-Type: text/plain
Posted: 2015-10-21
Revision: 3
News-Item-Format: 1.0
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For many years, the Grsecurity team [1] has been supporting two versions of
their security patches against the Linux kernel, a stable and a testing
version, and Gentoo has made both of these available to our users through the
hardened-sources package.  However, on August 26 of this year, the team
announced they would no longer be making the stable version publicly
available, citing trademark infringement by a major embedded systems company
as the reason. [2]  The stable patches are now only available to sponsors of
Grsecurity and can no longer be distributed in Gentoo.  However, the team did
assure us that they would continue to release and support the testing version
as they have in the past.

What does this means for users of hardened-sources?  Gentoo will continue to
make the testing version available through our hardened-sources package but we
will have to drop support for the 3.x series.  In a few days, those ebuilds
will be removed from the tree and you will be required to upgrade to a 4.x
series kernel.  Since the hardened-sources package only installs the kernel
source tree, you can continue using a currently built 3.x series kernel but
bear in mind that we cannot support you, nor will upstream.  Also keep in mind
that the 4.x series will not be as reliable as the 3.x series was, so
reporting bugs promptly will be even more important.  Gentoo will continue to
work closely with upstream to stay on top of any problems, but be prepared for
the occasional "bad" kernel.  The more reporting we receive from our users,
the better we will be able to decide which hardened-sources kernels to mark
stable and which to drop.

Refs.
[1] https://grsecurity.net
[2] https://grsecurity.net/announce.php