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Date:   Thu, 19 Aug 2021 10:18:47 -0400
From:   Daniel Micay <>
To:     Christoph Hellwig <>
Cc:     Kees Cook <>,
        kernel list <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Miguel Ojeda <>,
        Nathan Chancellor <>,
        Nick Desaulniers <>,
        Christoph Lameter <>,
        Pekka Enberg <>,
        David Rientjes <>,
        Joonsoo Kim <>,
        Vlastimil Babka <>,
        Dennis Zhou <>, Tejun Heo <>,
        Masahiro Yamada <>,
        Michal Marek <>,, Linux-MM <>,
        linux-kbuild <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/5] Add __alloc_size() for better bounds checking

It tells the compiler the function will either return NULL or an
allocation of the size specific by the parameter referenced by
alloc_size. It could also be used for functions resembling allocation
functions which aren't actually allocating. The compiler will use it
for optimization so it's extremely important that it's only used
correctly. It only really has a use on the top-level API used

The compiler uses it for __builtin_object_size which is primarily used
by FORTIFY_SOURCE and also internally by -fsanitize=object-size which
will be available for the kernel via UBSan to find bugs or as
hardening in the trapping mode. There are currently compatibility
issues (undefined out-of-bounds accesses) blocking using
-fsanitize=object-size beyond fixing those relatively benign issues to
allow using it elsewhere.

For example, it will know that kmalloc(n) returns either NULL or an
allocation of size n. A simple sample program with calloc in

    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <stdio.h>

    int main(void) {
        char *p = calloc(64, 1);
        if (!p) {
            return 1;
        printf("%zu\n", __builtin_object_size(p, 1));
        return 0;

It will also detect an out-of-bounds access via the allocation with
-fsanitize=object-size including with a runtime value as the index.

It's not as useful as it should be yet because __builtin_object_size
must return a compile-time constant. Clang has a new
__builtin_dynamic_object_size that's allowed to return a value that's
not a compile-time constant so it can work for kmalloc(n) where n is a
runtime value. It might not be quite ready for use yet but it should
be able to make it a lot more useful. GCC also seems open to adding it

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