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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 2/2] livepatch: Clear relocation targets on a module removal
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On 9/6/19 1:51 PM, Miroslav Benes wrote:
>
>>> Now, I don't think that replacing .ko on disk is a good idea. We've
>>> already discussed it. It would lead to a maintenance/packaging problem,
>>> because you never know which version of the module is loaded in the
>>> system. The state space grows rather rapidly there.
>>
>> What exactly are your concerns?
>>
>> Either the old version of the module is loaded, and it's livepatched; or
>> the new version of the module is loaded, and it's not livepatched.
>
> Let's have module foo.ko with function a().
>
> Live patch 1 (LP1) fixes it to a'(), which calls new function b() (present
> in LP1). LP1 is used only if foo.ko is loaded. foo.ko is replaced with
> foo'.ko on disk. It contains both a'() (fixed a() to be precise) and new
> b().
>
> Now there is LP2 with new function c() (or c'(), it does not matter)
> calling b(). Either foo.ko or foo'.ko can be loaded and you don't know
> which one. The implementation LP2 would be different in both cases.
>
> You could say that it does not matter. If LP2 is implemented for foo.ko,
> the same could work for foo'.ko (b() would be a part of LP2 and would not
> be called directly from foo'.ko). LP2 would only be necessarily larger. It
> is true in case of functions, but if symbol b is not a function but a
> global variable, it is different then.
>
> Moreover, in this case foo'.ko is "LP superset". Meaning that it contains
> only fixes which are present in LP1. What if it is not. We usually
> preserve kABI, so there could be a module in two or more versions compiled
> from slightly different code (older/newer and so on) and you don't know
> which one is loaded. To be fair we don't allow it (I think) at SUSE except
> for KMPs (kernel module packages) (the issue of course exists even now
> and we haven't solved it yet, because it is rare) and out of tree modules
> which we don't support with LP. It could be solved with srcversion, but it
> complicates things a lot. "blue sky" idea could extend the issue to all
> modules given the above is real.
>
> Does it make sense?
>

If I understand correctly, you're saying that this would add another
dimension to the potential system state that livepatches need to
consider? e.g. when updating a livepatch to v3, a v2 patched module may
or may not be loaded. So are we updating livepatch v2 code or module v2
code...

I agree that for functions, we could probably get away with repeating
code, but not necessarily for new global variables.

Then there's the question of:

module v3 == module v{1,2} + livepatch v3?


Is this scenario similar to one where a customer somehow finds and loads
module v3 before loading livepatch v3? Livepatch doesn't have a
srcversion whitelist so this should be entirely possible. I suppose it
is a bit different in that module v3 would be starting from a fresh load
and not something that livepatch v3 has hotpatched from an unknown
source/base.

-- Joe

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