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Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 10:20:38 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
To: Pontus Jensen Karlsson <>
Subject: Re: Potential bug in printf_core

On Fri, Aug 06, 2021 at 03:14:22PM +0200, Pontus Jensen Karlsson wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been trying to build audit-userspace tools for an ARMv7 SBC
> using musl 1.2.2 as libc.
> The tool auditd continously segfaults and I've traced it to a printf
> statement that
> I have isolated the issue to this piece of code (simplified for
> debugging purposes):
> #include <sys/time.h>
> #include <stdio.h>
> int main(int argc, char **argv)
> {
>     struct timeval tv = {
>         .tv_sec = 1000,
>         .tv_usec = 4177777
>     };
>     char *str = "Hello World";
>     unsigned num = 8062;
>     printf("%lu %03u %u %s", tv.tv_sec, (unsigned)(tv.tv_usec), num, str);
> }
> This code segfaults at memchr (s = 0x3fbf71 <error: Cannot access
> memory at address 0x3fbf71>)
> but three frames up we're at src/stdio/vfprintf.c:593.
> Here it attempts to read the string length from the arg.p address,
> the problem is that arg.p points
> to the int-value of (unsigned)(tv.tv_usec) and not the memory
> address of str.
> So, I'm confused as to why this happens? Is it something weird with
> the state-machine in printf_core,
> or am I misunderstanding something which needs to be patched into
> audit-userspace?

You're missing that %lu is not a valid format specifier for time_t.
You need to either do %jd and (intmax_t)tv.tv_sec or %lld and (long

So yes, this seems to be a bug in audit-userspace.


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