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Debian 11 and testing ship with a version of gcc capable of generating BTI (branch target identification), but they compile glibc without BTI support, thus they cannot generate executables with BTI support.

Is there any Linux or more generally Unix distribution that can generate executables with BTI enabled and run them with BTI?

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SuSE "Tumbleweed" 2021-11-17 supports BTI.

If I set my AArch64 QEMU to emulate the "max" processor (= all ISA features), to get BTI (as opposed to the default Cortex-A53 (or is it A57), which does not support BTI), BTI works as intended (traps suspect jumps).

BUT

If running the "max" processor, the "virtio" Ethernet driver does not work. I cannot turn on the virtual Ethernet interface. The problem disappears if running the default Cortex. I wonder if this is due to BTI.

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  • It isn't very clear whether this is an answer or not. If this is additional info to your query, then please edit your question and add it there. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 3:23
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    This is an answer: SuSE supports BTI, and it works as intended when running binaries (it kills illegal jumps). Yet the answer is somewhat unsatisfactory: there are bugs in SuSE that make it unable to run certain networking drivers on a machine supporting BTI. Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 18:46

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