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SubjectRe: [PATCH] kcov: convert kcov.refcount to refcount_t
On Mon, 21 Jan 2019, Peter Zijlstra wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 10:52:37AM +0100, Dmitry Vyukov wrote:
> > On Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 1:51 PM Dmitry Vyukov <dvyukov@google.com> wrote:
>
> > > KCOV uses refcounts in a very simple canonical way, so no hidden
> > > ordering implied.
> > >
> > > Am I missing something or refcount_dec_and_test does not in fact
> > > provide ACQUIRE ordering?
> > >
> > > +case 5) - decrement-based RMW ops that return a value
> > > +-----------------------------------------------------
> > > +
> > > +Function changes:
> > > + atomic_dec_and_test() --> refcount_dec_and_test()
> > > + atomic_sub_and_test() --> refcount_sub_and_test()
> > > + no atomic counterpart --> refcount_dec_if_one()
> > > + atomic_add_unless(&var, -1, 1) --> refcount_dec_not_one(&var)
> > > +
> > > +Memory ordering guarantees changes:
> > > + fully ordered --> RELEASE ordering + control dependency
> > >
> > > I think that's against the expected refcount guarantees. When I
> > > privatize an atomic_dec_and_test I would expect that not only stores,
> > > but also loads act on a quiescent object. But loads can hoist outside
> > > of the control dependency.
> > >
> > > Consider the following example, is it the case that the BUG_ON can still fire?
> > >
> > > struct X {
> > > refcount_t rc; // == 2
> > > int done1, done2; // == 0
> > > };
> > >
> > > // thread 1:
> > > x->done1 = 1;
> > > if (refcount_dec_and_test(&x->rc))
> > > BUG_ON(!x->done2);
> > >
> > > // thread 2:
> > > x->done2 = 1;
> > > if (refcount_dec_and_test(&x->rc))
> > > BUG_ON(!x->done1);
>
> I'm the one responsible for that refcount_t ordering.
>
> The rationale for REL+CTRL is that for the final put we want to ensure
> all prior load/store are complete, because any later access could be a
> UAF; consider:
>
>
> P0()
> {
> x->foo=0;
> if (refcount_dec_and_test(&x->rc))
> free(x);
> }
>
> P1()
> {
> x->bar=1;
> if (refcount_dec_and_test(&->rc))
> free(x);
> }
>
>
> without release, if would be possible for either (foo,bar) store to
> happen after the free().
>
> Additionally we also need the CTRL to ensure that the actual free()
> happens _after_ the dec_and_test, freeing early would be bad.
>
> But after these two requirements, the basic refcounting works.
>
> > The refcount_dec_and_test guarantees look too weak to me, see the
> > example above. Shouldn't refcount_dec_and_test returning true give the
> > object in fully quiescent state? Why only control dependency? Loads
> > can hoist across control dependency, no?
>
> Yes, loads can escape like you say.
>
> Any additional ordering; like the one you have above; are not strictly
> required for the proper functioning of the refcount. Rather, you rely on
> additional ordering and will need to provide this explicitly:
>
>
> if (refcount_dec_and_text(&x->rc)) {
> /*
> * Comment that explains what we order against....
> */
> smp_mb__after_atomic();
> BUG_ON(!x->done*);
> free(x);
> }
>
>
> Also; these patches explicitly mention that refcount_t is weaker,
> specifically to make people aware of this difference.
>
> A full smp_mb() (or two) would also be much more expensive on a number
> of platforms and in the vast majority of the cases it is not required.

How about adding smp_rmb() into refcount_dec_and_test()? That would
give acq+rel semantics, which seems to be what people will expect. And
it wouldn't be nearly as expensive as a full smp_mb().

Alan Stern

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