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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2018 23:29:33 +0100
From: Stephen Kitt <>
To: Jens Axboe <>, "James E.J. Bottomley"
 <>, "Martin K. Petersen"
 <>, Hannes Reinecke <>
Cc:,,, Kernel Hardening
Subject: VLA removal, device_handler and COMMAND_SIZE


I’ve been looking into removing some VLAs from device_handler drivers,
prompted by

The uses in question here are quite straightforward, e.g. in


There’s no trivial way of keeping the compiler happy with -Wvla though here,
at least not while keeping the behaviour strictly identical. I’ve come up
with two approaches, and I’m curious whether they’re appropriate or if
there’s a better way...

The first approach is to use MAX_COMMAND_SIZE instead; this wastes a few
bytes on the stack here and there, and stays reasonably maintainable.

The second approach might be symptomatic of a twisted mind, and involves
replacing COMMAND_SIZE so that it can be calculated at compile time when the
opcode is known:

 * SCSI command sizes are as follows, in bytes, for fixed size commands, per
 * group: 6, 10, 10, 12, 16, 12, 10, 10. The top three bits of an opcode
 * determine its group.
 * The size table is encoded into a 32-bit value by subtracting each value
 * from 16, resulting in a value of 1715488362
 * (6 << 28 + 6 << 24 + 4 << 20 + 0 << 16 + 4 << 12 + 6 << 8 + 6 << 4 + 10).
 * Command group 3 is reserved and should never be used.
#define COMMAND_SIZE(opcode) \
       (16 - (15 & (1715488362 >> (4 * (((opcode) >> 5) & 7)))))

This has the side-effect of making some of the call sites more complex, and
the macro itself isn’t the most maintainer-friendly. It does mean we can drop
BLK_SCSI_REQUEST from drivers/target/Kconfig so it’s not all bad...

Both patches will follow in reply to this email, I’ll let more familiar
developers judge which is appropriate (if any).



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