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Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2016 16:24:49 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: abort() fails to terminate PID 1 process

On Sun, Jul 03, 2016 at 10:20:46PM +0200, Laurent Bercot wrote:
> On 03/07/2016 22:01, Rich Felker wrote:
> >No. Halting the system safely (which kernel panic does) is completely
> >different from runaway wrong-code execution, and the only reason we
> >don't have runaway wrong-code execution right now is because I built
> >in the for(;;) safety in case termination failed.
>  Halting the system, no matter how safely, is also completely different from
> cleanly terminating the aborting process (while not impacting other processes
> as is supposed to be guaranteed by Unix). At this point, we're wildly outside
> the realm of specification anyway, and I find it acceptable to say that pid 1
> abort (or any kind of death for that matter) is UB. Your choice of
> implementation for abort() is good and safe, but I think it's just QoI,
> not something you're bound to do by a standard.

Halting the system when init exits is functionally equivalent to
having a hidden parent process provided by the OS that performs a halt
when its child (pid 1) exits. There's nothing fishy going on there. On
the other hand, having random code start executing would be clearly
wrong well beyond mere QoI.


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