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Date: Mon, 24 May 2021 16:33:30 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
To: Alexey Izbyshev <>
Subject: Re: Potentially infinite loop in posix_spawn'ed child

On Mon, May 24, 2021 at 01:09:21PM +0300, Alexey Izbyshev wrote:
> Hi,
> I've noticed the following loop at
>     exec(args->path, args->argv, args->envp);
>     ret = -errno;
> fail:
>     /* Since sizeof errno < PIPE_BUF, the write is atomic. */
>     ret = -ret;
>     if (ret) while (__syscall(SYS_write, p, &ret, sizeof ret) < 0);
>     _exit(127);
> Is there any reason that write is done in a loop? If SIGPIPE is
> blocked or ignored and the parent dies before this point, the child
> will spin in it forever.

I suppose the special case of EPIPE should be considered here as no
need to inform the parent. Are there any other errors that should be
treated specially?

> A test case is attached. It overrides execve() to abuse it as a
> callback, avoiding reliance on timings.

As noted that's undefined but it's completely reasonable as a way to
do the testing. Using seccomp to make the parent die might be slightly
less hackish but it doesn't matter. Thanks for the report.


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