[lkml]   [2020]   [Aug]   [30]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: [RESEND PATCH] vfs: add RWF_NOAPPEND flag for pwritev2
On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 4:00 AM Rich Felker <> wrote:
> The pwrite function, originally defined by POSIX (thus the "p"), is
> defined to ignore O_APPEND and write at the offset passed as its
> argument. However, historically Linux honored O_APPEND if set and
> ignored the offset. This cannot be changed due to stability policy,
> but is documented in the man page as a bug.
> Now that there's a pwritev2 syscall providing a superset of the pwrite
> functionality that has a flags argument, the conforming behavior can
> be offered to userspace via a new flag.
> diff --git a/include/linux/fs.h b/include/linux/fs.h
> @@ -3411,6 +3413,8 @@ static inline int kiocb_set_rw_flags(struct kiocb *ki, rwf_t flags)
> ki->ki_flags |= (IOCB_DSYNC | IOCB_SYNC);
> if (flags & RWF_APPEND)
> ki->ki_flags |= IOCB_APPEND;
> + if (flags & RWF_NOAPPEND)
> + ki->ki_flags &= ~IOCB_APPEND;
> return 0;
> }

Linux enforces the S_APPEND flag (set by "chattr +a") only at open()
time, not at write() time:

# touch testfile
# exec 100>testfile
# echo foo > testfile
# cat testfile
# chattr +a testfile
# echo bar > testfile
bash: testfile: Operation not permitted
# echo bar >&100
# cat testfile

At open() time, the kernel enforces that you can't use O_WRONLY/O_RDWR
without also setting O_APPEND if the file is marked as append-only:

static int may_open(const struct path *path, int acc_mode, int flag)
* An append-only file must be opened in append mode for writing.
if (IS_APPEND(inode)) {
if ((flag & O_ACCMODE) != O_RDONLY && !(flag & O_APPEND))
return -EPERM;
if (flag & O_TRUNC)
return -EPERM;

It seems to me like your patch will permit bypassing S_APPEND by
opening an append-only file with O_WRONLY|O_APPEND, then calling
pwritev2() with RWF_NOAPPEND? I think you'll have to add an extra
check for IS_APPEND() somewhere.

One could also argue that if an O_APPEND file descriptor is handed
across privilege boundaries, a programmer might reasonably expect that
the recipient will not be able to use the file descriptor for
non-append writes; if that is not actually true, that should probably
be noted in the open.2 manpage, at the end of the description of

 \ /
  Last update: 2020-08-30 17:07    [W:0.065 / U:2.228 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site