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Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 21:29:38 +0200
From: Pontus Jensen Karlsson <>
To: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: Potential bug in printf_core

On 8/6/21 4:20 PM, Rich Felker wrote:
> 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
> long)tv.tv_sec.

You are absolutely correct. After changing to %llu it worked flawlessly, 
well I had
to do it for both tv_sec and tv_usec but after that it works. I also 
read the note on
the frontpage of which explained the reason why this had 
to be done.

My question now is, have most C libraries moved to long long unsigned 
for tv_sec,
i.e. is this portable?


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

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