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Date:	Tue, 7 Oct 2014 11:16:54 -0700
From:	Andy Lutomirski <>
To:	David Daney <>
Cc:	Linux MIPS Mailing List <>,
	libc-alpha <>,
	David Daney <>,
	David Daney <>,
	Rich Felker <>,
	David Daney <>,
	"" <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH resend] MIPS: Allow FPU emulator to use non-stack area.

On Oct 7, 2014 9:09 AM, "David Daney" <> wrote:
> On 10/07/2014 04:11 AM, Rich Felker wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 06, 2014 at 09:50:47PM -0700, David Daney wrote:
>>>>> the out-of-line execution trick, but do it somewhere other than in
>>>>> stack memory.
>>>> How do you answer Andy Lutomirski's question about what happens when a
>>>> signal handler interrupts execution while the program counter is
>>>> pointing at this "out-of-line execution" trampoline? This seems like a
>>>> show-stopper for using anything other than the stack.
>>> It would be nice to support, but not doing so would not be a
>>> regression from current behavior.
>> It's not just "nice" to support, it's mandatory. Otherwise you will
>> execute essentially *random instructions* in this case, providing a
>> very nice attack vector that can almost certainly be elevated to
>> arbitrary code execution via timing of signals during floating point
>> code.
>> The current behavior in regards to this is correct: because you have a
>> *stack*, each trampoline is pushed onto the stack in its own context,
>> and popped when it's no longer needed. You can have arbitrarily many
>> such trampolines up to the stack size. Note that each nested signal
>> handler already requires sizeof(ucontext_t) in stack space, so these
>> trampolines are a negligible additional cost without major effects on
>> the number of signal handlers you can nest without overflowing the
>> stack.
> Yes, the stack takes care of the allocations, but the current implementation has many problems:
> 1) Signals clobber the emulation area.
> 2) Signals caused by the emulation, have incorrect saved machine state.
> We have a low bar to pass, any new solution doesn't have to be perfect, it only has to be an improvement.
> Keep in mind that we are not starting from a clean slate, there are many years of legacy code that has built up here.

A lesson I learned when doing the x86 vsyscall stuff: Don't waste time
improving legacy crap without a really good reason.  Especially don't
extend the interface.  Deprecate it (without breaking working user
code) and move on.


> David Daney
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