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Date:   Tue, 02 Jun 2020 17:04:43 -0700
From:   James Bottomley <>
To:     Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Cc:     Matthew Wilcox <>,
        Wang Hai <>,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: kobject_init_and_add is easy to misuse

On Tue, 2020-06-02 at 14:51 -0700, James Bottomley wrote:
> On Tue, 2020-06-02 at 22:07 +0200, Greg Kroah-Hartman wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 02, 2020 at 12:54:16PM -0700, James Bottomley wrote:
> [...]
> > > I think the only way we can make the failure semantics consistent
> > > is to have the kobject_init() ones (so kfree on failure).  That
> > > means for the add part, the function would have to unwind
> > > everything it did from init on so kfree() is still an option.  If
> > > people agree, then I can produce the patch ... it's just the
> > > current drive to transform everyone who's doing kfree() into
> > > kobject_put() would become wrong ...
> > 
> > Everyone should be putting their kfree into the kobject release
> > anyway, right?
> No, that's the problem ... for a static kobject you can't free it;
> and the release path may make assumption which aren't valid depending
> on the kobject state.
> > Anyway, let's see your patch before I start to object further :)
> My first thought was "what?  I got suckered into creating a patch",
> thanks ;-)  But now I look, all the error paths do unwind back to the
> initial state, so kfree() on error looks to be completely correct.

Actually, I spoke too soon.  I did another analysis of the syzkaller
flow in b8eb718348b8 ("net-sysfs: Fix reference count leak in
rx|netdev_queue_add_kobject") and it turns out there is a single piece
of state that's not correctly unwound: the kobj->name which, thanks to
additions after kobject_init_and_add() was created, is now allocated
via kmalloc if it's not a rodata string and is always and freed in
kobject_cleanup via kfree_const().  This problem can be fixed by
unwinding the name allocation at the end of kobject_init_and_add() ...
or it could be unwound in kobject_add_varg, which would also make
kobject_add() unwind correctly.

The unwind step is to kfree_const(kobj->name); kobj->name = NULL; so it
won't interfere if the kobject_put() is called instead of a simple

Would you prefer the unwind in kobject_init_and_add() like the patch
below or in kobject_add_varg()?



diff --git a/lib/kobject.c b/lib/kobject.c
index 65fa7bf70c57..9991baf43d27 100644
--- a/lib/kobject.c
+++ b/lib/kobject.c
@@ -472,6 +472,10 @@ int kobject_init_and_add(struct kobject *kobj, struct kobj_type *ktype,
 	va_start(args, fmt);
 	retval = kobject_add_varg(kobj, parent, fmt, args);
+	if (retval && kobj->name) {
+		kfree_const(kobj->name);
+		kobj->name = NULL;
+	}
 	return retval;

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