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Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 21:19:43 +0100
From: Peter Zijlstra <>
To: Kees Cook <>
Cc: Elena Reshetova <>,
	"" <>,
	Arnd Bergmann <>, Thomas Gleixner <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>,
	"H. Peter Anvin" <>,
	Will Deacon <>,
	Hans Liljestrand <>,
	David Windsor <>
Subject: Re: [RFC v4 PATCH 12/13] x86: implementation for HARDENED_ATOMIC

On Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 10:00:27AM -0800, Kees Cook wrote:
> Agreed: the first thread will BUG and the second thread is still halfway to 0.
> On systems that panic on BUG, things are protected. For the rest of
> the systems, an alternative to "dec" on overflow is to sub (more than)
> NR_CPUS, to keep the saturation below the overflow level. This means
> that it is still detected (BUG) by at least 1 thread, and cannot reach
> 0 (to trigger the flaw) on all other threads, even if they all lose
> the race.

NR_CPUS has nothing to do with anything here. If this is a vcpu that got
scheduled out in between the inc and dec there can be an arbitrary
amount of other crap happening.

> To me, this seems better than taking the cmpxchg performance hit.

To me that shows you shouldn't be allowed near atomic_t. You cannot have
a non-atomic atomic op. That just doesn't happen.

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