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Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2023 11:22:27 -0700
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Linus Torvalds <>
Cc: Justin Stitt <>, Christoph Hellwig <>,
	Keith Busch <>, Jens Axboe <>,
	Sagi Grimberg <>,,,,, Azeem Shaikh <>
Subject: Re: the nul-terminated string helper desk chair rearrangement

On Fri, Oct 20, 2023 at 10:56:31AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Oct 2023 at 10:40, Justin Stitt <> wrote:
> >
> > There's some docs at [1]. Perhaps there could be more?
> >
> > [1]:
> Note that we have so few 'strlcpy()' calls that we really should
> remove that horrid horrid interface. It's a buggy piece of sh*t.

Yup, that's on-going. There's just a few left; Azeem has been chipping
away at strlcpy.

> It does mean that if you used to have
>     dst[4];
>     strlcpy(dst, "abc", 8);
> then that *used* to work (because it would copy four bytes: "abc\0"
> and that fits in 'dst[]'). But
>    dst[4];
>    strscpy(dst, "abc", 8);
> will overflow dst[], because it will do a word-copy and you told
> 'strscpy()' that you had a 8-byte buffer, and it will try to write
> "abc\0\0\0\0\0" into the destination.

Luckily, we already have checks for these mismatched sizes at compile
time (i.e. CONFIG_FORTIFY_SOURCE will already check for pathological
cases like above where 8 > sizeof(dst)).

> The above is insane code, but it's an example of why a blind
> strlcpy->strscpy conversion might change semantics.

Totally agreed. All of the recent string conversions have been paying
close attention to the behavioral differences.

Kees Cook

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