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Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2015 21:53:12 -0400
From: Brian Gerst <>
To: Andy Lutomirski <>
Cc: Kees Cook <>, 
	"" <>, libc-alpha <>, 
	"" <>,, 
	Binutils <>
Subject: Re: RFC: adding Linux vsyscall-disable and similar
 backwards-incompatibility flags to ELF headers?

On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 8:51 PM, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
> Hi all-
> Linux has a handful of weird features that are only supported for
> backwards compatibility.  The big one is the x86_64 vsyscall page, but
> uselib probably belongs on the list, too, and we might end up with
> more at some point.
> I'd like to add a way that new programs can turn these features off.
> In particular, I want the vsyscall page to be completely gone from the
> perspective of any new enough program.  This is straightforward if we
> add a system call to ask for the vsyscall page to be disabled, but I'm
> wondering if we can come up with a non-syscall way to do it.
> I think that the ideal behavior would be that anything linked against
> a sufficiently new libc would be detected, but I don't see a good way
> to do that using existing toolchain features.
> Ideas?  We could add a new phdr for this, but then we'd need to play
> linker script games, and I'm not sure that could be done in a clean,
> extensible way.

The vsyscall page is mapped in the fixmap region, which is shared
between all processes.  You can't turn it off for an individual

Brian Gerst

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