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Date:	Thu, 3 Apr 2014 11:07:09 -0700
From:	Matthew Dempsky <>
To:	Oleg Nesterov <>
Cc:	Andrew Morton <>,
	Kees Cook <>,
	Julien Tinnes <>,
	Roland McGrath <>,
	Jan Kratochvil <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v4] ptrace: Fix fork event messages across pid namespaces

On Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 8:44 AM, Oleg Nesterov <> wrote:
> On 04/02, Matthew Dempsky wrote:
>> When tracing a process in another pid namespace, it's important for
>> fork event messages to contain the child's pid as seen from the
>> tracer's pid namespace, not the parent's.  Otherwise, the tracer won't
>> be able to correlate the fork event with later SIGTRAP signals it
>> receives from the child.
>> We still risk a race condition if a ptracer from a different pid
>> namespace attaches after we compute the pid_t value.  However, sending
>> a bogus fork event message in this unlikely scenario is still a vast
>> improvement over the status quo where we always send bogus fork event
>> messages to debuggers in a different pid namespace than the forking
>> process.
>> Signed-off-by: Matthew Dempsky <>
> Thanks,
> Acked-by: Oleg Nesterov <>


> Some notes for potential future changes...
>         - I do not not see any potential user of ptrace_event_pid() outside
>           of fork.c, so perhaps this helper should not be exported.
>           In fact I wouldn't mind if you send v5 which moves it into fork.c ;)

Like you mentioned, it's potentially used by fs/exec.c too, which I
was intending to send a followup patch for.

>         - The usage of "trace" doesn't look very consistent after this patch...
>           OK, probably I'll try to cleanup this later.
>         - OTOH, calculating pid_nr in the namespace of ->parent can probably
>           go into another simple (exported) helper. do_notify_parent_*() and
>           exec_binprm() could use it, even they do not have the problem with
>           task_active_pid_ns(parent) == NULL. Not sure.

I think do_notify_parent_*() are safe from task_active_pid_ns(parent)
== NULL because they're under tasklist_lock, but it looks like
exec_binprm() is theoretically racy (but would be fixed by converting
it to use ptrace_event_pid()).

>         - I am thinking about another approach... Suppose that we change
>           ptrace_attach() to nullify ->ptrace_message, as we already discussed
>           this probably makes sense anyway.
>           Now (ignoring CLONE_VFORK to simplify the discussion), do_fork() can
>           do something like the following:
>                 ...
>                 if (trace)
>                         current->ptrace_message = calc_its_pid_in_parent_ns();
>                 wake_up_new_task(p);
>                 if (trace && current->ptrace_message && ptrace_event_enabled(trace))
>                         ptrace_notify(...);
>          so that if we race with detach + attach we should likely see
>          ->ptrace_message == 0 and report nothing as if the new debugger
>          attached after do_fork().
>          Not sure this is really possible (without additional complications),
>          and of course we still can't close the race completely.
>          But even if this can work and will not look too ugly, it would be
>          better to do this on top of your simple patch.

Hm, that's an interesting idea.  I'll think about it.

> Matthew, I see other emails from you, will try to reply tomorrow.

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