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SubjectRE: [PATCH] openat2: switch to __attribute__((packed)) for open_how
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From Aleksa Sarai
> Sent: 17 December 2019 06:47
...
> > Just use u64 for all the fields.
>
> That is an option (and is the one that clone3 went with), but it's a bit
> awkward because umode_t is a u16 -- and it would be a waste of 6 bytes
> to store it as a u64. Arguably it could be extended but I personally
> find that to be very unlikely (and lots of other syscalls would need be
> updated).

6 bytes on interface structure will make almost no difference.
There is no reason to save more than 16 bits anywhere else.
You could error values with high bits set.

> I'm just going to move the padding to the end and change the error for
> non-zero padding to -E2BIG.

The padding had to be after the u16 field.

> > Use 'flags' bits to indicate whether the additional fields should be looked at.
> > Error if a 'flags' bit requires a value that isn't passed in the structure.
> >
> > Then you can add an extra field and old source code recompiled with the
> > new headers will still work - because the 'junk' value isn't looked at.
>
> This problem is already handled entirely by copy_struct_from_user().
>
> It is true that for some new fields it will be necessary to add a new
> flag (such as passing fds -- where 0 is a valid value) but for most new
> fields (especially pointer or flag fields) it will not be necessary
> because the 0 value is equivalent to the old behaviour. It also allows
> us to entirely avoid accepting junk from userspace.

Only if userspace is guaranteed to memset the entire structure
before making the call - rather than just fill in all the fields it knows about.
If it doesn't use memset() then recompiling old code with new headers
will pass garbage to the kernel.
copy_struct_from_user() cannot solve that problem.
You'll never be able to guarantee that all code actually clears the
entire structure - so at some point extending it will break recompilations
of old code - annoying.

David

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