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SubjectRe: [patch] mremap.2: Add description of old_size == 0 functionality
On 09/18/2017 07:11 PM, Mike Kravetz wrote:
> On 09/18/2017 06:45 AM, Florian Weimer wrote:
>> On 09/15/2017 11:53 PM, Mike Kravetz wrote:
>>> +If the value of \fIold_size\fP is zero, and \fIold_address\fP refers to
>>> +a private anonymous mapping, then
>>> +.BR mremap ()
>>> +will create a new mapping of the same pages. \fInew_size\fP
>>> +will be the size of the new mapping and the location of the new mapping
>>> +may be specified with \fInew_address\fP, see the description of
>>> +below. If a new mapping is requested via this method, then the
>>> +flag must also be specified. This functionality is deprecated, and no
>>> +new code should be written to use this feature. A better method of
>>> +obtaining multiple mappings of the same private anonymous memory is via the
>>> +.BR memfd_create()
>>> +system call.
>> Is there any particular reason to deprecate this?
>> In glibc, we cannot use memfd_create and keep the file descriptor around because the application can close descriptors beneath us.
>> (We might want to use alias mappings to avoid run-time code generation for PLT-less LD_AUDIT interceptors.)
> Hi Florian,
> When I brought up this mremap 'duplicate mapping' functionality on the mm
> mail list, most developers were surprised. It seems this functionality exists
> mostly 'by chance', and it was not really designed. It certainly was never
> documented. There were suggestions to remove the functionality, which led
> to my claim that it was being deprecated. However, in hindsight that may
> have been too strong.

This history is certainly a bit odd.

> I can drop this wording, but would still like to suggest memfd_create as
> the preferred method of creating duplicate mappings. It would be good if
> others on Cc: could comment as well.

mremap seems to work with non-anonymous mappings, too:

#include <err.h>
#include <stddef.h>
#include <stdint.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <sys/mman.h>
#include <unistd.h>

/* Hopefully large enough to prevent crossing of a page boundary in
the implementation. */
__attribute__ ((aligned (256), noclone, noinline, weak))
callback (void)
return 17;

main (void)
long pagesize = sysconf (_SC_PAGESIZE);
if (pagesize < 0)
err (1, "sysconf");
uintptr_t addr = (uintptr_t) &callback;
addr = addr / pagesize * pagesize;
printf ("old function address: %p\n", &callback);
ptrdiff_t page_offset = (uintptr_t) &callback - addr;
void *newaddr = mremap ((void *) addr, 0, pagesize, MREMAP_MAYMOVE);
if (newaddr == MAP_FAILED)
err (1, "mremap");
if (memcmp ((void *) addr, newaddr, pagesize) != 0)
errx (1, "page contents differs");
int (*newfunc) (void) = newaddr + page_offset;
printf ("new function address: %p\n", newfunc);
if (newfunc () != 17)
errx (1, "invalid return value from newfunc");
if (callback () != 17)
errx (1, "invalid return value from callback");
return 0;

(The code needs adjustment for architectures where function pointers
point to a descriptor and not the actual code.)

This looks very useful for generating arbitrary callback wrappers
without actual run-time code generation. memfd_create would not work
for that.

> Just curious, does glibc make use of this today? Or, is this just something
> that you think may be useful.

To my knowledge, we do not use this today. But it certainly looks very


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