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Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2021 17:44:36 +0000
From: Andrew Rogers <>
To: Rich Felker <>
Cc: Alexander Monakov <>,
Subject: Re: Potential DL_NOMMU_SUPPORT bug.

On Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 6:55 PM Rich Felker <> wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 24, 2021 at 09:48:11PM +0300, Alexander Monakov wrote:
> > > > sdcard [pseudo-]partition is usually mounted noexec, so mmap with
> > > > should fail.
> > >
> > > Uhg, that makes no sense. Does it enforce that even for MAP_PRIVATE,
> > > which should semantically be equivalent to just making anon memory
> > > with the requested permissions and copying the file contents into it??
> >
> > I think it makes sense: isn't the entire point of 'noexec' that a user
> > who has write access only to noexec filesystems will not be able to run
> > arbitrary binary code (assuming the already-present binaries are not
> > cooperative, unlike musl with the above patch would be)? Enforcing
> > noexec for MAP_PRIVATE ensures the users can not trivially side-step
> > noexec by invoking (without extra checks on side).
> I always viewed noexec (as opposed to something like nosuid) as a
> non-security-boundary, a sort of soft block for mounting filesystems
> that you don't want to execute programs from, for example a disk image
> known to contain malware that you're analyzing or a flash drive not
> expected to contain meaningful executable data but where all files
> would appear as +x due to FAT limitations. The expectation is that it
> can be bypassed. With a "restricted shell" type environment (very
> careful selection of what programs are present), it can plausibly be
> turned into a (very fragile) security boundary, but I didn't expect
> the kernel to be making weird rules to facilitate that.
> In any case, it seems that's how it is, and inability to dlopen (or
> LD_LIBRARY_PATH+DT_NEEDED or whatnot) from a noexec mount is
> annoying...
> Rich

Thank you very much for your responses. I am reassured that there is no bug
and that my patch just provides a convenient workaround for my use case.
Albeit by accident rather than design!

I am attempting to load binary executables and shared libraries from the
sdcard on Android. My patch does allow me to execute the busybox binary
from sdcard if I load them using my patched musl. I have not yet tried
loading any shared libraries from the sdcard.

An alternative I am experimenting with at the moment is using LLVM and
storing the bitcode on the sdcard and running it under lli.

Your responses are very informative so I might have another look at
patching musl to see if shared libraries can be loaded from sdcard also.
The dlopen function will probably need to be reworked to use open rather
than mmap but I need to learn some more first!

Many thanks,

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