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Date:   Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:19:25 +0100
From:   Steven Whitehouse <>
To:     Al Viro <>,
        Linus Torvalds <>
Cc:     Mimi Zohar <>,
        Christoph Hellwig <>,
        LSM List <>,
        Christoph Hellwig <>,,
        James Morris <>,
        Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
        Matthew Garrett <>,
        Jan Kara <>, Theodore Ts'o <>,
        Andreas Dilger <>,
        Jaegeuk Kim <>, Chao Yu <>,
        Bob Peterson <>,
        David Woodhouse <>,
        Dave Kleikamp <>,
        Ryusuke Konishi <>,
        Mark Fasheh <>,
        Joel Becker <>,
        Richard Weinberger <>,
        "Darrick J. Wong" <>,
        Hugh Dickins <>, Chris Mason <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 3/3] ima: use fs method to read integrity data (updated
 patch description)


On 17/09/17 17:38, Al Viro wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 09:34:01AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>> Now, I suspect most (all?) do, but that's a historical artifact rather
>> than "design". In particular, the VFS layer used to do the locking for
>> the filesystems, to guarantee the POSIX requirements (POSIX requires
>> that writes be seen atomically).
>> But that lock was pushed down into the filesystems, since some
>> filesystems really wanted to have parallel writes (particularly for
>> direct IO, where that POSIX serialization requirement doesn't exist).
>> That's all many years ago, though. New filesystems are likely to have
>> copied the pattern from old ones, but even then..
>> Also, it's worth noting that "inode->i_rwlock" isn't even well-defined
>> as a lock. You can have the question of *which* inode gets talked
>> about when you have things like eoverlayfs etc. Normally it would be
>> obvious, but sometimes you'd use "file->f_mapping->host" (which is the
>> same thing in the simple cases), and sometimes it really wouldn't be
>> obvious at all..
>> So... I'm really not at all convinced that i_rwsem is sensible. It's
>> one of those things that are "mostly right for the simple cases",
>> but...
> The thing pretty much common to all of them is that write() might need
> to modify permissions (suid removal), which brings ->i_rwsem in one
> way or another - notify_change() needs that held...

For GFS2, if we are to hold the inode info constant while it is checked, 
we would need to take a glock (read lock in this case) across the 
relevant operations. The glock will be happy under i_rwlock, since we 
have a lock ordering that takes local locks ahead of cluster locks. I've 
not dug into this enough to figure out whether the current proposal will 
allow this to work with GFS2 though. Does IMA cache the results from the 
->read_integrity() operation?


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