Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:45:40 -0500 From: Rich Felker <dalias@...ifal.cx> To: libc-alpha@...rceware.org Cc: musl@...ts.openwall.com Subject: O_EXEC and O_SEARCH Hi, I'd like to have a conversation with the glibc team about O_EXEC and O_SEARCH in the interest of hopefully developing a unified plan for supporting them on Linux. Presumably the reason glibc still does not have them is that Linux O_PATH does not exactly match their semantics in some cases, and O_PATH is sufficiently broken on many kernel versions to make offering it problematic. In particular, current coreutils break badly on most kernel versions around 2.6.39-3.6 or so if O_SEARCH and O_EXEC are defined as O_PATH. Right now, we're offering O_EXEC and O_SEARCH in musl libc, defining them as O_PATH. As long as recent Linux is used, this gives nearly correct semantics, except that combined with O_NOFOLLOW they do not fail when the final component is a symbolic link. I believe it's possible to work around this issue on sufficiently modern kernels where fstat works on O_PATH file descriptors, but adding the workaround whenever O_PATH|O_NOFOLLOW is in the flags would change the semantics when O_PATH is used by the caller rather than O_EXEC or O_SEARCH, since the value is equal. I'm not sure this is desirable. What should the long-term plan for supporting O_SEARCH and O_EXEC on Linux be? Should we assume Linux is aiming for O_PATH to eventually provide compatible semantics, and thus just define O_SEARCH and O_EXEC as O_PATH? Or is there a need to define a different value (perhaps 3, the unused access mode) for O_SEARCH and O_EXEC and have open/fcntl remap it and handle workarounds for Linux semantics that don't match the POSIX semantics? Rich
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