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Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 17:51:44 -0700
From: Andy Lutomirski <luto@...capital.net>
To: Kees Cook <keescook@...omium.org>, 
	"linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org" <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>, libc-alpha <libc-alpha@...rceware.org>, 
	"musl@...ts.openwall.com" <musl@...ts.openwall.com>, gcc@....gnu.org, 
	Binutils <binutils@...rceware.org>
Subject: RFC: adding Linux vsyscall-disable and similar backwards-incompatibility
 flags to ELF headers?

Hi all-

Linux has a handful of weird features that are only supported for
backwards compatibility.  The big one is the x86_64 vsyscall page, but
uselib probably belongs on the list, too, and we might end up with
more at some point.

I'd like to add a way that new programs can turn these features off.
In particular, I want the vsyscall page to be completely gone from the
perspective of any new enough program.  This is straightforward if we
add a system call to ask for the vsyscall page to be disabled, but I'm
wondering if we can come up with a non-syscall way to do it.

I think that the ideal behavior would be that anything linked against
a sufficiently new libc would be detected, but I don't see a good way
to do that using existing toolchain features.

Ideas?  We could add a new phdr for this, but then we'd need to play
linker script games, and I'm not sure that could be done in a clean,
extensible way.

--Andy

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