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Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2017 14:06:01 +1100
From: "Tobin C. Harding" <>
To: Linus Torvalds <>
Cc: Kees Cook <>,
	"Paul E. McKenney" <>,
	Andy Lutomirski <>, Joe Perches <>,
	Network Development <>,
	David Miller <>,
	"Jason A. Donenfeld" <>,	Theodore Ts'o <>,
 Paolo Bonzini <>,	Tycho Andersen <>,
	"Roberts, William C" <>,
	Tejun Heo <>,	Jordan Glover <>,
	Greg KH <>,	Petr Mladek <>,
 Ian Campbell <>,
	Sergey Senozhatsky <>,
	Catalin Marinas <>,
	Will Deacon <>,	Steven Rostedt <>,
	Chris Fries <>, Dave Weinstein <>,
	Daniel Micay <>,	Djalal Harouni <>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3] scripts: add

On Tue, Nov 07, 2017 at 01:44:01PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 7, 2017 at 1:22 PM, Kees Cook <> wrote:
> >
> > Linus, what do you have in mind for the root-only "yes we really need
> > the actual address output" exceptions?
> I am convinced that absolutely none of them should use '%pK'.
> So far we have actually never seen a valid case wher %pK was really
> the right thing to do.
> > For example, right now /sys/kernel/debug/kernel_page_tables
> > (CONFIG_X86_PTDUMP=y) needs actual address and currently uses %x.
> So I think it could continue to use %x, and just make sure the whole
> file is root-only.
> And that is why %pK is so wrong. It's almost never really about root.
> Look at /proc/kallsyms, for example. There it's mainly about kernel
> profiles (although there certainly have been other uses historically,
> and maybe some of them remain) - which we have another flag for
> entirely that is very much specifically about kernel profiles.
> > Looking other places that stand out, it seems like
> > /proc/lockdep_chains and /proc/lockdep (CONFIG_LOCKDEP=y) has a ton of
> > %p usage. It's unclear to me if a hash is sufficient for meaningful
> > debugging there?
> Maybe not, but that is also _so_ esoteric that I suspect the right fix
> is to just make it root-only readable.
> I've never used it, we should check with people who have. I get the
> feeling that this is purely for PeterZ debugging.
> The very first commit that introduced that code actually has a
>     (FIXME: should go into debugfs)
> so I suspect it never should have been user-readable to begin with. I
> guess it makes some things easier, but it really is *very* different
> from things like profiling.
> Profiling you often *cannot* do as root - some things you profile
> really shouldn't be run as root, and might even refuse to do so. So
> requiring you to be root just to get a kernel profile is very bad.
> But looking at lockdep stats? Yeah, 'sudo' isn't so big of a deal.
> And I really suspect that's true of a _lot_ of these %p things that
> really want a pointer. It's not that they really want %pK, it's that
> they shouldn't have been visible to regular users in the first place.
> Things that *do* want a pointer and should be visible to regular users
> are things like oops messages etc, but even there we obviously
> generally want to use %pS/%pF when possible (but generally %x when not
> - things like register contents etc that *may* contain pointers).

This is opt-in, it means asking developers to do the right thing every time
they think they need a pointer. If we hash %p as soon as someone has
been bitten by it they will start using %x and sooner or later they will
use %x exclusively (suggesting using %x for _really_ necessary addresses
will only hasten the process).

If the only real benefit of hashing %p is to clean up kruft why don't we
add %pX and do tree wide substitution of all %p to %pX. People that get
broken will change it back to %p and we will have half a chance of
finding new abusers of %p down the track.

If there is not a 'one size fits all' solution, as we have seen with
kptr_restrict, then should we not be trying to make it easier for people
to do the right thing _and_ easier for us to catch it when we do the
wrong thing?

There is already almost 30 000 users of %{x,X}, surely we don't want to
promote more kernel address printing to be mixed in with all of that?

> And if they really are visible to users - because you want to
> cross-correlate them for things like netstat - I think the hashing is
> the right thing to do both for root and for regular users.
> > Seems like these three from dmesg could be removed?
> >
> > [    0.000000] Base memory trampoline at [ffffa3fc40099000] 99000 size 24576
> > arch/x86/realmode/init.c
> >
> > [    0.000000] percpu: Embedded 38 pages/cpu @ffffa4007fc00000 s116944
> > r8192 d30512 u524288
> > mm/percpu.c
> >
> > [    0.456395] software IO TLB [mem 0xbbfdf000-0xbffdf000] (64MB)
> > mapped at [ffffa3fcfbfdf000-ffffa3fcfffdefff]
> > lib/swiotlb.c
> Yes, I think the solution for a lot of the random device discovery
> messages etc is to just remove them. They were likely useful when the
> code was new and untested, and just stayed around afterwards.

Is anyone actually going to do this? If the hashing gets done then these
messages are not a risk, are _real_ kernel developers going to bother
cleaning this up? Surely newbies are not going to get much love either
if they submit patches that '[PATCH] remove unnecessary printk message'.


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