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Date:   Wed, 8 May 2019 11:12:23 -0700
From:   Stanislav Fomichev <>
To:     Alexei Starovoitov <>
Cc:     Stanislav Fomichev <>,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH bpf 0/4] bpf: remove __rcu annotations from bpf_prog_array

On 05/08, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
> On Wed, May 08, 2019 at 10:18:41AM -0700, Stanislav Fomichev wrote:
> > Right now we are not using rcu api correctly: we pass __rcu pointers
> > to bpf_prog_array_xyz routines but don't use rcu_dereference on them
> > (see bpf_prog_array_delete_safe and bpf_prog_array_copy in particular).
> > Instead of sprinkling rcu_dereferences, let's just get rid of those
> > __rcu annotations and move rcu handling to a higher level.
> > 
> > It looks like all those routines are called from the rcu update
> > side and we can use simple rcu_dereference_protected to get a
> > reference that is valid as long as we hold a mutex (i.e. no other
> > updater can change the pointer, no need for rcu read section and
> > there should not be a use-after-free problem).
> > 
> > To be fair, there is currently no issue with the existing approach
> > since the calls are mutex-protected, pointer values don't change,
> > __rcu annotations are ignored. But it's still nice to use proper api.
> > 
> > The series fixes the following sparse warnings:
> Absolutely not.
> please fix it properly.
> Removing annotations is not a fix.
I'm fixing it properly by removing the annotations and moving lifetime
management to the upper layer. See commits 2-4 where I fix the users, the
first patch is just the "preparation".

The users are supposed to do:

p = rcu_dereference_protected(prog_array, lockdep_is_held(&x))
// ...
// call bpf_prog_array helpers while mutex guarantees that
// the object referenced by p is valid (i.e. no need for bpf_prog_array
// helpers to care about rcu lifetime)
// ...

What am I missing here?

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