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Date:   Thu, 27 Feb 2020 08:37:00 -0500
From:   Joel Fernandes <joel@...lfernandes.org>
To:     Uladzislau Rezki <urezki@...il.com>
Cc:     "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@...nel.org>,
        "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <tytso@....edu>,
        Ext4 Developers List <linux-ext4@...r.kernel.org>,
        Suraj Jitindar Singh <surajjs@...zon.com>,
        LKML <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH RFC] ext4: fix potential race between online resizing and
 write operations

Sorry for slightly late reply.

On Tue, Feb 25, 2020 at 07:54:00PM +0100, Uladzislau Rezki wrote:
> > > > > I was thinking a 2 fold approach (just thinking out loud..):
> > > > > 
> > > > > If kfree_call_rcu() is called in atomic context or in any rcu reader, then
> > > > > use GFP_ATOMIC to grow an rcu_head wrapper on the atomic memory pool and
> > > > > queue that.
> > > > > 
> > > I am not sure if that is acceptable, i mean what to do when GFP_ATOMIC
> > > gets failed in atomic context? Or we can just consider it as out of
> > > memory and another variant is to say that headless object can be called
> > > from preemptible context only.
> > 
> > Yes that makes sense, and we can always put disclaimer in the API's comments
> > saying if this object is expected to be freed a lot, then don't use the
> > headless-API to be extra safe.
> > 
> Agree.
> 
> > BTW, GFP_ATOMIC the documentation says if GFP_ATOMIC reserves are depleted,
> > the kernel can even panic some times, so if GFP_ATOMIC allocation fails, then
> > there seems to be bigger problems in the system any way. I would say let us
> > write a patch to allocate there and see what the -mm guys think.
> > 
> OK. It might be that they can offer something if they do not like our
> approach. I will try to compose something and send the patch to see.
> The tree.c implementation is almost done, whereas tiny one is on hold.
> 
> I think we should support batching as well as bulk interface there.
> Another way is to workaround head-less object, just to attach the head
> dynamically using kmalloc() and then call_rcu() but then it will not be
> a fair headless support :)
> 
> What is your view?

This kind of "head" will require backpointers to the original object as well
right? And still wouldn't solve the "what if we run out of GFP_ATOMIC
reserves". But let me know in a code snippet if possible about what you mean.

> > > > > Otherwise, grow an rcu_head on the stack of kfree_call_rcu() and call
> > > > > synchronize_rcu() inline with it.
> > > > > 
> > > > >
> > > What do you mean here, Joel? "grow an rcu_head on the stack"?
> > 
> > By "grow on the stack", use the compiler-allocated rcu_head on the
> > kfree_rcu() caller's stack.
> > 
> > I meant here to say, if we are not in atomic context, then we use regular
> > GFP_KERNEL allocation, and if that fails, then we just use the stack's
> > rcu_head and call synchronize_rcu() or even synchronize_rcu_expedited since
> > the allocation failure would mean the need for RCU to free some memory is
> > probably great.
> > 
> Ah, i got it. I thought you meant something like recursion and then
> unwinding the stack back somehow :)

Yeah something like that :) Use the compiler allocated space which you
wouldn't run out of unless stack overflows.

> > > As for "task_struct's rcu_read_lock_nesting". Will it be enough just
> > > have a look at preempt_count of current process? If we have for example
> > > nested rcu_read_locks:
> > > 
> > > <snip>
> > > rcu_read_lock()
> > >     rcu_read_lock()
> > >         rcu_read_lock()
> > > <snip>
> > > 
> > > the counter would be 3.
> > 
> > No, because preempt_count is not incremented during rcu_read_lock(). RCU
> > reader sections can be preempted, they just cannot goto sleep in a reader
> > section (unless the kernel is RT).
> > 
> So in CONFIG_PREEMPT kernel we can identify if we are in atomic or not by
> using rcu_preempt_depth() and in_atomic(). When it comes to !CONFIG_PREEMPT
> then we skip it and consider as atomic. Something like:
> 
> <snip>
> static bool is_current_in_atomic()

Would be good to change this to is_current_in_rcu_reader() since
rcu_preempt_depth() does not imply atomicity.

> {
> #ifdef CONFIG_PREEMPT_RCU
>     if (!rcu_preempt_depth() && !in_atomic())
>         return false;

I think use if (!rcu_preempt_depth() && preemptible()) here.

preemptible() checks for IRQ disabled section as well.

> #endif
> 
>     return true;

Otherwise LGTM.

thanks!

 - Joel

> }
> <snip>

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