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Date:   Tue, 12 Jan 2021 12:00:50 +0100
From:   Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@...uxfoundation.org>
To:     Jessica Yu <jeyu@...nel.org>
Cc:     Adam Zabrocki <pi3@....com.pl>,
        Nicolas Morey-Chaisemartin <nmoreychaisemartin@...e.com>,
        linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org, Solar Designer <solar@...nwall.com>
Subject: Re: Linux Kernel module notification bug

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 11:46:55AM +0100, Jessica Yu wrote:
> +++ Adam Zabrocki [12/01/21 01:15 +0100]:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > On Mon, Jan 11, 2021 at 03:20:48PM +0100, Jessica Yu wrote:
> > > +++ Adam Zabrocki [10/01/21 18:54 +0100]:
> > > > Hello,
> > > >
> > > > I believe that the following commit does introduce a gentle "functionality
> > > > bug":
> > > >
> > > > "module: delay kobject uevent until after module init call":
> > > > https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux.git/commit/kernel/module.c?id=38dc717e97153e46375ee21797aa54777e5498f3
> > > >
> > > > The official Linux Kernel API for the kernel module activities notification has
> > > > been divided based on the readiness 'stage' for such module. We have the
> > > > following stages:
> > > >
> > > >        MODULE_STATE_LIVE,      /* Normal state. */
> > > >        MODULE_STATE_COMING,    /* Full formed, running module_init. */
> > > >        MODULE_STATE_GOING,     /* Going away. */
> > > >        MODULE_STATE_UNFORMED,  /* Still setting it up. */
> > > >
> > > > LIVE means that the kernel module is correctly running and all initialization
> > > > work has been already done. Otherwise, we have event 'COMING' or 'UNFORMED'.
> > > >
> > > > In the described commit, creation of the KOBJECT has been moved after invoking
> > > > a notficiation of the newly formed kernel module state (LIVE). That's somehow
> > > > inconsistent from my understanding of the kernel modules notifiers logic.
> > > > Creation of the new objects (like KOBJ) should be done before notification of
> > > > the stage LIVE is invoked.
> > > 
> > > I'm confused. We're not creating any kobjects here. That is all done
> > > in mod_sysfs_setup(), which is called while the module is still
> > > COMING.  What that commit does is delay telling userspace about the
> > > module (specifically, systemd/udev) until the module is basically
> > > ready. Systemd was basically receiving the uevent too early, before
> > > the module has initialized, hence we decided to delay the uevent [1].
> > > 
> > 
> > Sorry for the confusion on my side. I was referring to the internal state of
> > the KOBJ itself which is being actively modified when uevent is sent. During
> > the module creation KOBJ_ADD modifies 'kobj->state_add_uevent_sent'. Until
> > recent commit, kernel didn't modify KOBJ after sending LIVE notification.
> > 
> > > > This commit breaks some of the projects that rely on the LIVE notification to
> > > > monitor when the newly loaded module is ready.
> > > 
> > > Hm, could you please explain specifically what is the issue you're seeing?
> > > What projects is it breaking?
> > > 
> > 
> > I'm specifically referencing these projects which are tracking kernel modules
> > for integrity purpose (e.g. anti-rootkit tools) like Linux Kernel Runtime
> > Guard.
> > It is possible to modify these tools to adopt and take into account
> > modification of KOBJ after LIVE state notification. However, from my
> > understanding of the kernel modules notifiers logic, KOBJ should be fully
> > formed at this stage.
> 
> Ah I see, thanks for the clarification. I was under the impression
> that kobj->state_add_uevent_sent is an internal field interesting
> only to lib/kobject.c, and did not know tools like you mention are
> implicitly tracking that.

There is no in-kernel tools/users tracking stuff like this, so this is
not an issue.  The internals of kobjects can change at any time, there
is no "stable api" here at all.

thanks,

greg k-h

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