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Date:   Tue, 14 May 2019 09:55:31 -0700
From:   Alexei Starovoitov <alexei.starovoitov@...il.com>
To:     Stanislav Fomichev <sdf@...ichev.me>
Cc:     Stanislav Fomichev <sdf@...gle.com>,
        Network Development <netdev@...r.kernel.org>,
        bpf <bpf@...r.kernel.org>,
        "David S. Miller" <davem@...emloft.net>,
        Alexei Starovoitov <ast@...nel.org>,
        Daniel Borkmann <daniel@...earbox.net>
Subject: Re: [PATCH bpf 0/4] bpf: remove __rcu annotations from bpf_prog_array

On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 11:57 AM Stanislav Fomichev <sdf@...ichev.me> wrote:
>
> On 05/08, Stanislav Fomichev wrote:
> > 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:
> >
> > mutex_lock(&x);
> > 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)
> > // ...
> > mutex_unlock(&x);
> >
> > What am I missing here?
>
> Just to give you my perspective on why current api with __rcu annotations
> is working, but not optimal (even if used from the rcu read section).
>
> Sample code:
>
>         struct bpf_prog_array __rcu *progs = <comes from somewhere>;
>         int n;
>
>         rcu_read_lock();
>         n = bpf_prog_array_length(progs);
>         if (n > 0) {
>           // do something with __rcu progs
>           do_something(progs);
>         }
>         rcu_read_unlock();
>
> Since progs is __rcu annotated, do_something() would need to do
> rcu_dereference again and it might get a different value compared to
> whatever bpf_prog_array_free got while doing its dereference.

correct and I believe the code deals with it fine.
cnt could be different between two calls.

> A better way is not to deal with rcu inside those helpers and let
> higher layers do that:
>
>         struct bpf_prog_array __rcu *progs = <comes from somewhere>;
>         struct bpf_prog_array *p;
>         int n;
>
>         rcu_read_lock();
>         p = rcu_dereference(p);
>         n = bpf_prog_array_length(p);
>         if (n > 0) {
>           do_something(p); // do_something sees the same p as bpf_prog_array_length
>         }
>         rcu_read_unlock();
>
> What do you think?

I'm not sure that generically applicable.
Which piece of code do you have in mind for such refactoring?

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