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Subject[PATCH v2] kthread, tracing: Don't expose half-written comm when creating kthreads
There is a window for racing when printing directly to task->comm,
allowing other threads to see a non-terminated string. The vsnprintf
function fills the buffer, counts the truncated chars, then finally
writes the \0 at the end.

creator other
fill (not terminated)
count the rest trace_sched_waking(p):
... memcpy(comm, p->comm, TASK_COMM_LEN)
write \0

The consequences depend on how 'other' uses the string. In our case,
it was copied into the tracing system's saved cmdlines, a buffer of
adjacent TASK_COMM_LEN-byte buffers (note the 'n' where 0 should be):

crash-arm64> x/1024s savedcmd->saved_cmdlines | grep 'evenk'
0xffffffd5b3818640: "irq/497-pwr_evenkworker/u16:12"

...and a strcpy out of there would cause stack corruption:

[224761.522292] Kernel panic - not syncing: stack-protector:
Kernel stack is corrupted in: ffffff9bf9783c78

crash-arm64> kbt | grep 'comm\|trace_print_context'
#6 0xffffff9bf9783c78 in trace_print_context+0x18c(+396)
comm (char [16]) = "irq/497-pwr_even"

crash-arm64> rd 0xffffffd4d0e17d14 8
ffffffd4d0e17d14: 2f71726900000000 5f7277702d373934 ....irq/497-pwr_
ffffffd4d0e17d24: 726f776b6e657665 3a3631752f72656b evenkworker/u16:
ffffffd4d0e17d34: f9780248ff003231 cede60e0ffffff9b 12..H.x......`..
ffffffd4d0e17d44: cede60c8ffffffd4 00000fffffffffd4 .....`..........

The workaround in e09e28671 (use strlcpy in __trace_find_cmdline) was
likely needed because of this same bug.

Solved by vsnprintf:ing to a local buffer, then using set_task_comm().
This way, there won't be a window where comm is not terminated.

Signed-off-by: Snild Dolkow <>
kernel/kthread.c | 8 +++++++-
1 file changed, 7 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/kernel/kthread.c b/kernel/kthread.c
index 481951bf091d..1a481ae12dec 100644
--- a/kernel/kthread.c
+++ b/kernel/kthread.c
@@ -319,8 +319,14 @@ struct task_struct *__kthread_create_on_node(int (*threadfn)(void *data),
task = create->result;
if (!IS_ERR(task)) {
static const struct sched_param param = { .sched_priority = 0 };
+ char name[TASK_COMM_LEN];

- vsnprintf(task->comm, sizeof(task->comm), namefmt, args);
+ /*
+ * task is already visible to other tasks, so updating
+ * COMM must be protected.
+ */
+ vsnprintf(name, sizeof(name), namefmt, args);
+ set_task_comm(task, name);
* root may have changed our (kthreadd's) priority or CPU mask.
* The kernel thread should not inherit these properties.
 \ /
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