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Date:   Tue, 14 May 2019 10:30:02 -0700
From:   Stanislav Fomichev <sdf@...ichev.me>
To:     Alexei Starovoitov <alexei.starovoitov@...il.com>
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 05/14, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
> 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.
Yes, currently there is no problem, all users of these apis
are fine because they are holding a mutex (and are hence in the rcu update
path, i.e. the pointer can't change and they have a consistent view
between the calls).

For example, we currently have:

	int n1, n2;
	mutex_lock(&x);
	n1 = bpf_prog_array_length(progs);
	n2 = bpf_prog_array_length(progs);
	// n1 is guaranteed to be the same as n2 as long as we
	// hold a mutex; single updater only
	...
	mutex_unlock(&x);

Versus:

	rcu_read_lock();
	n1 = bpf_prog_array_length(progs);
	n2 = bpf_prog_array_length(progs);
	// n1 and n2 can be different; rcu_read_lock is all about
	// lifetime
	...
	rcu_read_unlock();

But, as I said, we don't use those __rcu annotated bpf_prog_array
routines in the rcu read section, so we are fine.

(I'm just showing that potentially there might be a problem if we don't move
rcu management away from bpf_prog_array routines and if someone
decides to call them under rcu_read_lock).

> > 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?
All existing callers of (take a look at patches 2-4):

* bpf_prog_array_free
* bpf_prog_array_length
* bpf_prog_array_copy_to_user
* bpf_prog_array_delete_safe
* bpf_prog_array_copy_info
* bpf_prog_array_copy

They are:

* perf event bpf attach/detach/query (under bpf_event_mutex)
* cgroup attach/detach/query (management of cgroup_bpf->effective, under
  cgroup_mutex)
* lirc bpf attach/detach/query (under ir_raw_handler_lock)

Nobody uses these apis in the rcu read section, so we can remove the
annotations and use rcu_dereference_protected on the higher layer.

Side bonus is that we can also remove __rcu from cgroup_bpf.inactive
(which is just a temp storage and not updated in the rcu fashion) and
from old_array in activate_effective_progs (which is an on-stack
array and, I guess, only has __rcu annotation to satisfy sparse).

So nothing is changing functionality-wise, but it becomes a bit easier
to reason about by being more explicit with rcu api.

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