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Date:   Sun, 6 Feb 2022 18:57:59 -0800
From:   Kees Cook <>
To:     Peter Zijlstra <>
Cc:     Alexander Popov <>,
        Linus Torvalds <>,
        Thomas Gleixner <>,
        Josh Poimboeuf <>,
        Borislav Petkov <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH] gcc-plugins/stackleak: Use noinstr in favor of notrace

On Sun, Feb 06, 2022 at 09:40:15PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 06, 2022 at 08:46:47AM -0800, Kees Cook wrote:
> > On Sun, Feb 06, 2022 at 12:58:16PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> > > On Tue, Feb 01, 2022 at 04:19:18PM -0800, Kees Cook wrote:
> > > > Is it correct to exclude .noinstr.text here? That means any functions called in
> > > > there will have their stack utilization untracked. This doesn't seem right to me,
> > > > though. Shouldn't stackleak_track_stack() just be marked noinstr instead?
> > > 
> > > This patch is right. stackleak_track_stack() cannot be marked noinstr
> > > becaues it accesses things that might not be there.
> > 
> > Hmm, as in "current()" may not be available/sane?
> Exactly the case; if we lift the PTI address space swizzle, we start
> with C without having the kernel mapped or even the per-cpu segment
> offset set. So things like current will explode.
> The whole noinstr thing was invented to get back to C as portable
> Assembler, with the express purpose to lift a bunch of entry code to C.
> > > Consider what happens if we pull the PTI page-table swap into the
> > > noinstr C part.
> > 
> > Yeah, I see your point. I suspect the reason this all currently works
> > is because stackleak is supposed to only instrument leaf functions that
> > have sufficiently large (default 100 bytes) stack usage.
> > 
> > What sorts of things may end up in .noinstr.text that are 100+ byte stack
> > leaf functions that would be end up deeper in the call stack? (i.e. what
> > could get missed from stack depth tracking?) Interrupt handling comes
> > to mind, but I'd expect that to make further calls (i.e. not a leaf).
> All the syscall/exception/interrupt entry stuff is noinstr; I don't
> think we have huge stackframes, but with all that in C that's much
> easier to do than with then in asm.
> If you worry about this, it should be possible to have objtool warn
> about excessive stack frames for noinstr code I suppose, it already
> tracks the stack anyway.

Yeah, I think we should be okay at least for now.

Let me know what you think of
and if you like it I can send a v2 Linus's way...


Kees Cook

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