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Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2016 15:45:56 -0400
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Emese Revfy <>
Cc: "" <>, PaX Team <>, 
	Brad Spengler <>, Michal Marek <>, 
	LKML <>, 
	Masahiro Yamada <>, linux-kbuild <>,, Russell King <>, 
	Catalin Marinas <>, Rasmus Villemoes <>, 
	David Brown <>, 
	"" <>, Thomas Gleixner <>, 
	Andrew Morton <>, Jeff Layton <>, 
	Arnd Bergmann <>, Sam Ravnborg <>, Karsten Keil <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 1/3] Add the initify gcc plugin

On Mon, Jul 4, 2016 at 7:40 PM, Emese Revfy <> wrote:
> The kernel already has a mechanism to free up code and data memory that
> is only used during kernel or module initialization.
> This plugin will teach the compiler to find more such code and data that
> can be freed after initialization.
> It has two passes. The first one tries to find all functions that
> can be become __init/__exit. The second one moves string constants
> (local variables and function string arguments marked by
> the nocapture attribute) only referenced in __init/__exit functions
> to the __initconst/__exitconst sections.
> It reduces memory usage. This plugin can be useful for embedded systems.
> If a function is called by __init and __exit functions as well then
> the plugin moves it to the __exit section. This causes false positive
> section mismatch errors/warnings that I don't know how to handle yet.

Should the mismatch checker be updated to recognize this case? Without
the plugin, I assume these kinds of functions would only ever be
marked for __exit? If so, should the plugin strip the __init marking
and only add __exit?

> The instrumentation pass of the latent_entropy plugin must run after
> the initify plugin to increase coverage.
> Signed-off-by: Emese Revfy <>

Thanks for sending this! I'll get it added to my tree for some 0day
build testing, and then get it into my -next tree.


Kees Cook
Chrome OS & Brillo Security

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