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Date:   Tue, 26 Mar 2019 09:33:52 -0700
From:   Daniel Colascione <>
To:     Christian Brauner <>
Cc:     Jann Horn <>,
        Konstantin Khlebnikov <>,
        Andy Lutomirski <>,
        David Howells <>,
        "Serge E. Hallyn" <>,
        "Eric W. Biederman" <>,
        Linux API <>,
        linux-kernel <>,
        Arnd Bergmann <>,
        Kees Cook <>,
        Alexey Dobriyan <>,
        Thomas Gleixner <>,
        Michael Kerrisk-manpages <>,
        Jonathan Kowalski <>,
        "Dmitry V. Levin" <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Oleg Nesterov <>,
        Nagarathnam Muthusamy <>,
        Aleksa Sarai <>,
        Al Viro <>,
        Joel Fernandes <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v1 2/4] pid: add pidctl()

On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 9:23 AM Christian Brauner <> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 09:17:07AM -0700, Daniel Colascione wrote:
> > Thanks for the patch.
> >
> > On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 8:55 AM Christian Brauner <> wrote:
> > >
> > > The pidctl() syscalls builds on, extends, and improves translate_pid() [4].
> > > I quote Konstantins original patchset first that has already been acked and
> > > picked up by Eric before and whose functionality is preserved in this
> > > syscall:
> >
> > We still haven't had a much-needed conversation about splitting this
> > system call into smaller logical operations. It's important that we
> > address this point before this patch is merged and becomes permanent
> > kernel ABI.
> I don't particularly mind splitting this into an additional syscall like
> e.g.  pidfd_open() but then we have - and yes, I know you'll say
> syscalls are cheap - translate_pid(), and pidfd_open(). What I like
> about this rn is that it connects both apis in a single syscall
> and allows pidfd retrieval across pid namespaces. So I guess we'll see
> what other people think.

Thanks. I also appreciate a clean unification of related
functionality, but I'm concerned that this API in particular --- due
in part to its *ctl() name --- will become a catch-all facility for
doing *anything* with processes. (Granted, heavy use of a new, good,
and clean API would be a good problem to have.) This
single-system-call state of affairs would make it more awkward than
necessary to do system-call level logging (say, strace -e), enable or
disable tracing of specific operations with ftrace, apply some kinds
of SELinux policy, and so on, and the only advantage of the single
system call design that I can see right now is the logical

I'd propose splitting the call, or if we can't do that, renaming it to
something else --- pidfd_query --- so that it's less likely to become
a catch-all operation holder.

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