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Date:   Fri, 26 Apr 2019 09:03:59 -0600
From:   David Ahern <>
To:     Michal Kubecek <>,
        "David S. Miller" <>
Cc:, Johannes Berg <>,
        Jiri Pirko <>,
        Pablo Neira Ayuso <>,
        Jozsef Kadlecsik <>,
        Florian Westphal <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH net-next 1/3] netlink: make nla_nest_start() add

On 4/26/19 3:13 AM, Michal Kubecek wrote:
> Even if the NLA_F_NESTED flag was introduced more than 11 years ago, most
> netlink based interfaces (including recently added ones) are still not
> setting it in kernel generated messages. Without the flag, message parsers
> not aware of attribute semantics (e.g. wireshark dissector or libmnl's
> mnl_nlmsg_fprintf()) cannot recognize nested attributes and won't display
> the structure of their contents.
> Unfortunately we cannot just add the flag everywhere as there may be
> userspace applications which check nlattr::nla_type directly rather than
> through a helper masking out the flags. Therefore the patch renames
> nla_nest_start() to nla_nest_start_noflag() and introduces nla_nest_start()
> as a wrapper adding NLA_F_NESTED. The calls which add NLA_F_NESTED manually
> are rewritten to use nla_nest_start().
> Except for changes in include/net/netlink.h, the patch was generated using
> this semantic patch:
> @@ expression E1, E2; @@
> -nla_nest_start(E1, E2)
> +nla_nest_start_noflag(E1, E2)
> @@ expression E1, E2; @@
> -nla_nest_start_noflag(E1, E2 | NLA_F_NESTED)
> +nla_nest_start(E1, E2)
> Signed-off-by: Michal Kubecek <>
> ---

Acked-by: David Ahern <>

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