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Date:   Mon, 07 Feb 2022 20:03:10 +0100
From:   Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>
To:     Guillaume Nault <>,
        David Miller <>,
        Jakub Kicinski <>
        Hideaki YOSHIFUJI <>,
        David Ahern <>,
        Shuah Khan <>,,
        Russell Strong <>,
        Dave Taht <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH net-next 0/4] inet: Separate DSCP from ECN bits using
 new dscp_t type

Guillaume Nault <> writes:

> The networking stack currently doesn't clearly distinguish between DSCP
> and ECN bits. The entire DSCP+ECN bits are stored in u8 variables (or
> structure fields), and each part of the stack handles them in their own
> way, using different macros. This has created several bugs in the past
> and some uncommon code paths are still unfixed.
> Such bugs generally manifest by selecting invalid routes because of ECN
> bits interfering with FIB routes and rules lookups (more details in the
> LPC 2021 talk[1] and in the RFC of this series[2]).
> This patch series aims at preventing the introduction of such bugs (and
> detecting existing ones), by introducing a dscp_t type, representing
> "sanitised" DSCP values (that is, with no ECN information), as opposed
> to plain u8 values that contain both DSCP and ECN information. dscp_t
> makes it clear for the reader what we're working on, and Sparse can
> flag invalid interactions between dscp_t and plain u8.
> This series converts only a few variables and structures:
>   * Patch 1 converts the tclass field of struct fib6_rule. It
>     effectively forbids the use of ECN bits in the tos/dsfield option
>     of ip -6 rule. Rules now match packets solely based on their DSCP
>     bits, so ECN doesn't influence the result any more. This contrasts
>     with the previous behaviour where all 8 bits of the Traffic Class
>     field were used. It is believed that this change is acceptable as
>     matching ECN bits wasn't usable for IPv4, so only IPv6-only
>     deployments could be depending on it. Also the previous behaviour
>     made DSCP-based ip6-rules fail for packets with both a DSCP and an
>     ECN mark, which is another reason why any such deploy is unlikely.
>   * Patch 2 converts the tos field of struct fib4_rule. This one too
>     effectively forbids defining ECN bits, this time in ip -4 rule.
>     Before that, setting ECN bit 1 was accepted, while ECN bit 0 was
>     rejected. But even when accepted, the rule would never match, as
>     the packets would have their ECN bits cleared before doing the
>     rule lookup.
>   * Patch 3 converts the fc_tos field of struct fib_config. This is
>     equivalent to patch 2, but for IPv4 routes. Routes using a
>     tos/dsfield option with any ECN bit set is now rejected. Before
>     this patch, they were accepted but, as with ip4 rules, these routes
>     couldn't match any packet, since their ECN bits are cleared before
>     the lookup.
>   * Patch 4 converts the fa_tos field of struct fib_alias. This one is
>     pure internal u8 to dscp_t conversion. While patches 1-3 had user
>     facing consequences, this patch shouldn't have any side effect and
>     is there to give an overview of what future conversion patches will
>     look like. Conversions are quite mechanical, but imply some code
>     churn, which is the price for the extra clarity a possibility of
>     type checking.
> To summarise, all the behaviour changes required for the dscp_t type
> approach to work should be contained in patches 1-3. These changes are
> edge cases of ip-route and ip-rule that don't currently work properly.
> So they should be safe. Also, a kernel selftest is added for each of
> them.
> Finally, this work also paves the way for allowing the usage of the 3
> high order DSCP bits in IPv4 (a few call paths already handle them, but
> in general the stack clears them before IPv4 rule and route lookups).

LGTM; thanks again for doing this!

Reviewed-by: Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>

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