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Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2022 18:42:17 -0500
From: Rich Felker <>
To: Markus Wichmann <>
Subject: Re: Stack error through asynchronous cancellation

On Mon, Nov 21, 2022 at 09:54:13PM +0100, Markus Wichmann wrote:
> Hi all,
> I noticed that when a thread is cancelled while asynchronous
> cancellation is in effect, then execution is redirected to __cp_cancel,
> but __cp_cancel is a label only meant to undo the stack manipulation of
> __syscall_cp, then jump to __cancel. This means, during asynchronous
> cancellation, invalid values will be read from stack, and the stack
> pointer may be set to a misaligned value before continuing to
> __cp_cancel. For the most part, it will not matter, since __cancel will
> not return if asynchronous cancellation is in effect, but there is still
> something iffy about this whole behavior.
> I wonder if we maybe need a new label __cp_cancel_async, that
> transitions to __cancel from unknown legal processor state. On x86_64,
> for example, it is possible (though unlikely) that the direction flag is
> set, thus leading to undefined behavior when __cancel is invoked with
> the flag set, even though the ABI says it is not supposed to be set on
> entry to any function.
> On architectures that do actually adjust the stack in __syscall_cp, the
> changes to the stack pointer could also mean overwriting a thread
> cancellation handler. And while pthread_cleanup_push() and ..._pop() are
> not async-cancel-safe, can they not be invoked under deferred
> cancellation and then have asynchronous cancellation be used between
> them?

Thanks! This was also reported to me off-list recently, and I have a
fix; I just hadn't pushed it yet.

The behavior of changing the return address is only valid and only
makes sense for synchronous cancellation at a cancellation point. For
async, we just need to go back to the behavior prior to commit
102f6a01e249ce4495f1119ae6d963a2a4a53ce5, where __cancel is called
from the cancellation signal handler. There are other ways but they
would require a lot of arch-specific knowledge (like DF you mentioned)
to construct a valid frame to return into, and that's just not needed.


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