sys-kernel/hardened-sources removal

Title: sys-kernel/hardened-sources removal
Author: Francisco Blas Izquierdo Riera <>
Posted: 2017-08-19
Revision: 10
News-Item-Format: 2.0
Display-If-Installed: sys-kernel/hardened-sources

As you may know the core of sys-kernel/hardened-sources have been the
grsecurity patches.

Sadly, their developers have stopped making these patches freely
available [1]. This is a full stop of any public updates and not only
stable ones as was announced two years ago[2].

As a result, the Gentoo Hardened team is unable to keep providing
further updates of the patches, and although the hardened-sources have
proved (when using a hardened toolchain) being resistant against
certain attacks like the stack guard page jump techniques proposed by
Stack Clash, we can't ensure a regular patching schedule and therefore,
the security of the users of these kernel sources.

Because of that we will be masking the hardened-sources on the 27th of
August and will proceed to remove them from the tree by the end of
September. Obviously, we will reinstate the package again if the
developers decide to make their patches publicly available again.

Our recommendation is that users should consider using instead

As an alternative, for users happy keeping themselves on the stable
4.9 branch of the kernel; minipli, another grsecurity user, is forward
porting the patches on [3].

Strcat from Copperhead OS is making his own version with some
additional hardening features over those on the latest version of the
Linux tree at [4].

The Gentoo Hardened team can't make any statement regarding the
security, reliability or update availability of either of those
patches as we aren't providing them and can't therefore make any
recommendation regarding their use.

We'd like to note that all the userspace hardening and MAC support for
SELinux provided by Gentoo Hardened will still remain in the packages
found in the Gentoo repository. Keep in mind, though, that the
security provided by these features will be weakened a bit when using
sys-kernel/gentoo-sources. Also, all PaX related packages, except
sys-kernel/hardened-sources, will remain available for the time being.