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Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2020 19:14:59 +0100
From: Pirmin Walthert <>
Subject: Re: Re: FYI: some observations when testing next-gen malloc

Am 09.03.20 um 18:12 schrieb Rich Felker:
> On Mon, Mar 09, 2020 at 05:49:02PM +0100, Pirmin Walthert wrote:
>> Dear Rich,
>> First of all many thanks for your brilliant C library.
>> As I do not know whether the musl mailinglist is already the right
>> place to discuss the next-gen malloc module, I decided to send you
>> my observations directly.
> It is, so I'm cc'ing the list now.
>> I'd like to mention that I am not yet entirely sure whether the
>> following is a problem with the new malloc code or with asterisk
>> itself but maybe you can already keep the following in the back of
>> your head if someone else is reporting similar behavior with a
>> different application:
>> We use asterisk (16.7) in a musl libc based distribution and for
>> some operations asterisk forks (in a thread) the main process to
>> execute a system command. When using (newest version
>> with "fix race condition in lock-free path of free" applied, but
>> already without that change) some of these forked child processes
>> will hang during a call to pthread_mutex_unlock.
>> Unfortunatelly the backtrace is not of much help I guess, but the
>> child process always seems to hang on pthread_mutex_unlock. So
>> something seems to happen with the mutex on fork:
>> #0  0x00007f2152a20092 in pthread_mutex_unlock () from
>> /lib/
>> No symbol table info available.
>> #1  0x0000000000000008 in ?? ()
>> No symbol table info available.
>> #2  0x0000000000000000 in ?? ()
>> No symbol table info available.
>> I will for sure try to dig into this further. For the moment the
>> only thing I know is that I did not yet observe this on any of the
>> several hundred systems with musl 1.1.23 (same asterisk version),
>> not on any of the around 5 with 1.2.0 (same asterisk version, old
>> malloc) but quite frequently on the two systems with 1.1.24 and
> This is completely expected and should happen with old or new malloc.
> I'm surprised you haven't hit it before. After a multithreaded process
> calls fork, the child inherits a state where locks may be permanently
> held. See
>      - A process shall be created with a single thread. If a
>        multi-threaded process calls fork(), the new process shall
>        contain a replica of the calling thread and its entire address
>        space, possibly including the states of mutexes and other
>        resources. Consequently, to avoid errors, the child process may
>        only execute async-signal-safe operations until such time as one
>        of the exec functions is called.
> It's not described very rigorously, but effectively it's in an async
> signal context and can only call functions which are AS-safe.
> A future version of the standard is expected to drop the requirement
> that fork itself be async-signal-safe, and may thereby add
> requirements to synchronize against some or all internal locks so that
> the child can inherit a working context. But the right solution here is
> always to stop using fork without exec.
> Rich

Well, I have now changed the code a bit to make sure that no 
async-signal-unsafe command is being executed before execl. Things I've 

a call to cap_from_text, cap_set_proc and cap_free has been removed as 
well as sched_setscheduler. Now the only thing being executed before 
execl in the child process is closefrom()

However I got a hanging process again:

(gdb) bt full
#0  0x00007f42f649c6da in __syscall_cp_c () from /lib/
No symbol table info available.
#1  0x0000000000000000 in ?? ()
No symbol table info available.

Best regards,


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