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Subject[RFC][PATCH] tracing, printk: Force no hashing when trace_printk() is used
While debugging an issue I needed to see if the pointers were being
processed correctly with trace_printk() and after using "%p" and
triggering my bug and trace output, I was disappointed that all my
pointers were random garbage and didn't produce anything useful for me.
I had to rewrite all the trace_printk()s to use "%lx" instead.

As trace_printk() is not to be used for anything but debugging, and
this is enforced by printing in the dmesg:

** **
** trace_printk() being used. Allocating extra memory. **
** **
** This means that this is a DEBUG kernel and it is **
** unsafe for production use. **
** **
** If you see this message and you are not debugging **
** the kernel, report this immediately to your vendor! **
** **

on boot up if trace_printk() is used (or when a module is loaded that
uses trace_printk()), we can safely assume that the use of
trace_printk() is not going to be accidentally added to production code
(and if it is, they should be whacked with an overcooked spaghetti

A new bool is added called "trace_debug" and if it is set, then %p will
not be hashed.

Both trace_debug is set and kptr_restrict is set to zero in the same
code that produces the above banner. This will allow trace_printk() to
not be affected by security code, as trace_printk() should never be run
on a machine that needs security of this kind.

Signed-off-by: Steven Rostedt (VMware) <>
diff --git a/include/linux/printk.h b/include/linux/printk.h
index e9b603ee9953..7ef6c31d874a 100644
--- a/include/linux/printk.h
+++ b/include/linux/printk.h
@@ -278,6 +278,7 @@ static inline void printk_safe_flush_on_panic(void)

extern int kptr_restrict;
+extern bool trace_debug;

extern asmlinkage void dump_stack(void) __cold;

diff --git a/kernel/trace/trace.c b/kernel/trace/trace.c
index 0f47e653ffd8..cb58cd4ee3a7 100644
--- a/kernel/trace/trace.c
+++ b/kernel/trace/trace.c
@@ -2864,6 +2864,10 @@ void trace_printk_init_buffers(void)

buffers_allocated = 1;

+ /* This is a debug kernel, allow pointers to be shown */
+ trace_debug = true;
+ kptr_restrict = 0;
* trace_printk_init_buffers() can be called by modules.
* If that happens, then we need to start cmdline recording
diff --git a/lib/vsprintf.c b/lib/vsprintf.c
index 89f8a4a4b770..425644ceedcb 100644
--- a/lib/vsprintf.c
+++ b/lib/vsprintf.c
@@ -1345,6 +1345,7 @@ char *uuid_string(char *buf, char *end, const u8 *addr,

int kptr_restrict __read_mostly;
+bool trace_debug __read_mostly;

static noinline_for_stack
char *restricted_pointer(char *buf, char *end, const void *ptr,
@@ -1962,6 +1963,10 @@ char *pointer(const char *fmt, char *buf, char *end, void *ptr,
return pointer_string(buf, end, ptr, spec);

+ /* When the kernel is in debugging mode, show all pointers */
+ if (trace_debug)
+ return restricted_pointer(buf, end, ptr, spec);
/* default is to _not_ leak addresses, hash before printing */
return ptr_to_id(buf, end, ptr, spec);
 \ /
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