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Date:   Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:56:07 -0800 (PST)
From:   David Miller <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 1/3] net: introduce SO_BINDTOIFINDEX sockopt

From: David Herrmann <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:42:14 +0100

> This introduces a new generic SOL_SOCKET-level socket option called
> SO_BINDTOIFINDEX. It behaves similar to SO_BINDTODEVICE, but takes a
> network interface index as argument, rather than the network interface
> name.
> User-space often refers to network-interfaces via their index, but has
> to temporarily resolve it to a name for a call into SO_BINDTODEVICE.
> This might pose problems when the network-device is renamed
> asynchronously by other parts of the system. When this happens, the
> SO_BINDTODEVICE might either fail, or worse, it might bind to the wrong
> device.
> In most cases user-space only ever operates on devices which they
> either manage themselves, or otherwise have a guarantee that the device
> name will not change (e.g., devices that are UP cannot be renamed).
> However, particularly in libraries this guarantee is non-obvious and it
> would be nice if that race-condition would simply not exist. It would
> make it easier for those libraries to operate even in situations where
> the device-name might change under the hood.
> A real use-case that we recently hit is trying to start the network
> stack early in the initrd but make it survive into the real system.
> Existing distributions rename network-interfaces during the transition
> from initrd into the real system. This, obviously, cannot affect
> devices that are up and running (unless you also consider moving them
> between network-namespaces). However, the network manager now has to
> make sure its management engine for dormant devices will not run in
> parallel to these renames. Particularly, when you offload operations
> like DHCP into separate processes, these might setup their sockets
> early, and thus have to resolve the device-name possibly running into
> this race-condition.
> By avoiding a call to resolve the device-name, we no longer depend on
> the name and can run network setup of dormant devices in parallel to
> the transition off the initrd. The SO_BINDTOIFINDEX ioctl plugs this
> race.
> Reviewed-by: Tom Gundersen <>
> Signed-off-by: David Herrmann <>
> ---
> v2:
>  - skip 0x0040 SO-value on sparc, as it is already used


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