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Subject[PATCH 2/3] perf/ring_buffer: convert ring_buffer.refcount to refcount_t
atomic_t variables are currently used to implement reference
counters with the following properties:
- counter is initialized to 1 using atomic_set()
- a resource is freed upon counter reaching zero
- once counter reaches zero, its further
increments aren't allowed
- counter schema uses basic atomic operations
(set, inc, inc_not_zero, dec_and_test, etc.)

Such atomic variables should be converted to a newly provided
refcount_t type and API that prevents accidental counter overflows
and underflows. This is important since overflows and underflows
can lead to use-after-free situation and be exploitable.

The variable ring_buffer.refcount is used as pure reference counter.
Convert it to refcount_t and fix up the operations.

**Important note for maintainers:

Some functions from refcount_t API defined in lib/refcount.c
have different memory ordering guarantees than their atomic
counterparts. Please check Documentation/core-api/refcount-vs-atomic.rst
for more information.

Normally the differences should not matter since refcount_t provides
enough guarantees to satisfy the refcounting use cases, but in
some rare cases it might matter.
Please double check that you don't have some undocumented
memory guarantees for this variable usage.

For the ring_buffer.refcount it might make a difference
in following places:
- ring_buffer_get(): increment in refcount_inc_not_zero() only
guarantees control dependency on success vs. fully ordered
atomic counterpart
- ring_buffer_put(): decrement in refcount_dec_and_test() only
provides RELEASE ordering and ACQUIRE ordering + control dependency
on success vs. fully ordered atomic counterpart

Suggested-by: Kees Cook <>
Reviewed-by: David Windsor <>
Reviewed-by: Hans Liljestrand <>
Signed-off-by: Elena Reshetova <>
kernel/events/core.c | 4 ++--
kernel/events/internal.h | 3 ++-
kernel/events/ring_buffer.c | 2 +-
3 files changed, 5 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

diff --git a/kernel/events/core.c b/kernel/events/core.c
index a1e87d2..963cee0 100644
--- a/kernel/events/core.c
+++ b/kernel/events/core.c
@@ -5388,7 +5388,7 @@ struct ring_buffer *ring_buffer_get(struct perf_event *event)
rb = rcu_dereference(event->rb);
if (rb) {
- if (!atomic_inc_not_zero(&rb->refcount))
+ if (!refcount_inc_not_zero(&rb->refcount))
rb = NULL;
@@ -5398,7 +5398,7 @@ struct ring_buffer *ring_buffer_get(struct perf_event *event)

void ring_buffer_put(struct ring_buffer *rb)
- if (!atomic_dec_and_test(&rb->refcount))
+ if (!refcount_dec_and_test(&rb->refcount))

diff --git a/kernel/events/internal.h b/kernel/events/internal.h
index 6dc725a..4718de2 100644
--- a/kernel/events/internal.h
+++ b/kernel/events/internal.h
@@ -4,13 +4,14 @@

#include <linux/hardirq.h>
#include <linux/uaccess.h>
+#include <linux/refcount.h>

/* Buffer handling */


struct ring_buffer {
- atomic_t refcount;
+ refcount_t refcount;
struct rcu_head rcu_head;
struct work_struct work;
diff --git a/kernel/events/ring_buffer.c b/kernel/events/ring_buffer.c
index 4a99370..e841d48 100644
--- a/kernel/events/ring_buffer.c
+++ b/kernel/events/ring_buffer.c
@@ -285,7 +285,7 @@ ring_buffer_init(struct ring_buffer *rb, long watermark, int flags)
rb->overwrite = 1;

- atomic_set(&rb->refcount, 1);
+ refcount_set(&rb->refcount, 1);

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