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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 0/2] mm,fork,security: introduce MADV_WIPEONFORK
On Mon 07-08-17 15:22:57, Michal Hocko wrote:
> This is an user visible API so make sure you CC linux-api (added)
> On Sun 06-08-17 10:04:23, Rik van Riel wrote:
> > v2: fix MAP_SHARED case and kbuild warnings
> >
> > Introduce MADV_WIPEONFORK semantics, which result in a VMA being
> > empty in the child process after fork. This differs from MADV_DONTFORK
> > in one important way.
> >
> > If a child process accesses memory that was MADV_WIPEONFORK, it
> > will get zeroes. The address ranges are still valid, they are just empty.
> >
> > If a child process accesses memory that was MADV_DONTFORK, it will
> > get a segmentation fault, since those address ranges are no longer
> > valid in the child after fork.
> >
> > Since MADV_DONTFORK also seems to be used to allow very large
> > programs to fork in systems with strict memory overcommit restrictions,
> > changing the semantics of MADV_DONTFORK might break existing programs.
> >
> > The use case is libraries that store or cache information, and
> > want to know that they need to regenerate it in the child process
> > after fork.

How do they know that they need to regenerate if they do not get SEGV?
Are they going to assume that a read of zeros is a "must init again"? Isn't
that too fragile? Or do they play other tricks like parse /proc/self/smaps
and read in the flag?

> > Examples of this would be:
> > - systemd/pulseaudio API checks (fail after fork)
> > (replacing a getpid check, which is too slow without a PID cache)
> > - PKCS#11 API reinitialization check (mandated by specification)
> > - glibc's upcoming PRNG (reseed after fork)
> > - OpenSSL PRNG (reseed after fork)
> >
> > The security benefits of a forking server having a re-inialized
> > PRNG in every child process are pretty obvious. However, due to
> > libraries having all kinds of internal state, and programs getting
> > compiled with many different versions of each library, it is
> > unreasonable to expect calling programs to re-initialize everything
> > manually after fork.
> >
> > A further complication is the proliferation of clone flags,
> > programs bypassing glibc's functions to call clone directly,
> > and programs calling unshare, causing the glibc pthread_atfork
> > hook to not get called.
> >
> > It would be better to have the kernel take care of this automatically.
> >
> > This is similar to the OpenBSD minherit syscall with MAP_INHERIT_ZERO:
> >
> >

I would argue that a MAP_$FOO flag would be more appropriate. Or do you
see any cases where such a special mapping would need to change the
semantic and inherit the content over the fork again?

I do not like the madvise because it is an advise and as such it can be
ignored/not implemented and that shouldn't have any correctness effects
on the child process.
Michal Hocko

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