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Date:   Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:59:20 -0700
From:   Eric Biggers <>
Subject: [PATCH 5/5] fs-verity: use smp_load_acquire() for ->i_verity_info

From: Eric Biggers <>

Normally smp_store_release() or cmpxchg_release() is paired with
smp_load_acquire().  Sometimes smp_load_acquire() can be replaced with
the more lightweight READ_ONCE().  However, for this to be safe, all the
published memory must only be accessed in a way that involves the
pointer itself.  This may not be the case if allocating the object also
involves initializing a static or global variable, for example.

fsverity_info::tree_params.hash_alg->tfm is a crypto_ahash object that's
internal to and is allocated by the crypto subsystem.  So by using
READ_ONCE() for ->i_verity_info, we're relying on internal
implementation details of the crypto subsystem.

Remove this fragile assumption by using smp_load_acquire() instead.

Also fix the cmpxchg logic to correctly execute an ACQUIRE barrier when
losing the cmpxchg race, since cmpxchg doesn't guarantee a memory
barrier on failure.

(Note: I haven't seen any real-world problems here.  This change is just
fixing the code to be guaranteed correct and less fragile.)

Fixes: fd2d1acfcadf ("fs-verity: add the hook for file ->open()")
Signed-off-by: Eric Biggers <>
 fs/verity/open.c         | 15 ++++++++++++---
 include/linux/fsverity.h |  9 +++++++--
 2 files changed, 19 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/fs/verity/open.c b/fs/verity/open.c
index d007db0c9304..bfe0280c14e4 100644
--- a/fs/verity/open.c
+++ b/fs/verity/open.c
@@ -221,11 +221,20 @@ struct fsverity_info *fsverity_create_info(const struct inode *inode,
 void fsverity_set_info(struct inode *inode, struct fsverity_info *vi)
-	 * Multiple processes may race to set ->i_verity_info, so use cmpxchg.
-	 * This pairs with the READ_ONCE() in fsverity_get_info().
+	 * Multiple tasks may race to set ->i_verity_info, so use
+	 * cmpxchg_release().  This pairs with the smp_load_acquire() in
+	 * fsverity_get_info().  I.e., here we publish ->i_verity_info with a
+	 * RELEASE barrier so that other tasks can ACQUIRE it.
-	if (cmpxchg(&inode->i_verity_info, NULL, vi) != NULL)
+	if (cmpxchg_release(&inode->i_verity_info, NULL, vi) != NULL) {
+		/* Lost the race, so free the fsverity_info we allocated. */
+		/*
+		 * Afterwards, the caller may access ->i_verity_info directly,
+		 * so make sure to ACQUIRE the winning fsverity_info.
+		 */
+		(void)fsverity_get_info(inode);
+	}
 void fsverity_free_info(struct fsverity_info *vi)
diff --git a/include/linux/fsverity.h b/include/linux/fsverity.h
index 78201a6d35f6..c1144a450392 100644
--- a/include/linux/fsverity.h
+++ b/include/linux/fsverity.h
@@ -115,8 +115,13 @@ struct fsverity_operations {
 static inline struct fsverity_info *fsverity_get_info(const struct inode *inode)
-	/* pairs with the cmpxchg() in fsverity_set_info() */
-	return READ_ONCE(inode->i_verity_info);
+	/*
+	 * Pairs with the cmpxchg_release() in fsverity_set_info().
+	 * I.e., another task may publish ->i_verity_info concurrently,
+	 * executing a RELEASE barrier.  We need to use smp_load_acquire() here
+	 * to safely ACQUIRE the memory the other task published.
+	 */
+	return smp_load_acquire(&inode->i_verity_info);
 /* enable.c */

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