Security Feature Configuration for Spectre and Meltdown

The system allows for the security features of the Linux kernel to be configured to mitigate the variants of Meltdown and Spectre side-channel vulnerabilities (CVE-2017-5754, CVE-2017-5753, CVE-2017-5715).


By default, mitigation is provided against Spectre v1 type attacks. Additional mitigation can be enabled to cover Spectre v2 attacks and Meltdown attacks. Enabling this mitigation may affect system performance. The spectre_v2 may also require firmware or BIOS updates from your motherboard manufacturer to be effective.

Option name


spectre_meltdown_v1 (default)

Protect against Spectre v1 attacks, highest performance


Protect against Spectre v1, v2 and Meltdown attacks


Applying these mitigations may result in some performance degradation for certain workloads. As the actual performance impacts are expected to vary considerably based on the customer workload, StarlingX recommends all our customers to test the performance impact of CVE mitigations on their actual workload in a sandbox environment before rolling out the mitigations to production.


  1. To view the existing kernel security configuration, use the following command to check the current value of security_feature:

    $ system show
    | Property             | Value                                |
    | contact              | None                                 |
    | created_at           | 2020-02-27T15:47:23.102735+00:00     |
    | description          | None                                 |
    | https_enabled        | False                                |
    | location             | None                                 |
    | name                 | 468f57ef-34c1-4e00-bba0-fa1b3f134b2b |
    | region_name          | RegionOne                            |
    | sdn_enabled          | False                                |
    | security_feature     | spectre_meltdown_v1                  |
    | service_project_name | services                             |
    | software_version     | 20.06                                |
    | system_mode          | duplex                               |
    | system_type          | Standard                             |
    | timezone             | Canada/Eastern                       |
    | updated_at           | 2020-02-28T10:56:24.297774+00:00     |
    | uuid                 | c0e35924-e139-4dfc-945d-47f9a663d710 |
    | vswitch_type         | none                                 |
  2. To change the kernel security feature, use the following command syntax:

    system modify --security_feature [either spectre_meltdown_v1 or spectre_meltdown_all]

    After this command is executed, the kernel arguments will be updated on all hosts and on subsequently installed hosts. Rebooting the hosts by locking and unlocking each host is required to have the new kernel arguments take effect.

  3. Analysis of a system may be performed by using the open source script, which ships as /usr/sbin/ This tool requires root access to run. The tool will attempt to analyze your system to see if it is susceptible to Spectre or Meltdown attacks. Documentation for the tool can be found at