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Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2023 13:43:18 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
To: Markus Wichmann <>
Subject: Re: aio_close needed in dup2?

On Thu, Oct 12, 2023 at 06:43:20PM +0200, Markus Wichmann wrote:
> Hi all,
> I noticed something today: In close(), we call __aio_close() to both
> prevent AIO from using invalid file descriptors and implement the
> requirement that outstanding AIO be cancelled. But in dup2() and dup3(),
> that doesn't happen.
> POSIX only says that dup2() closes newfd if it already is a valid file
> descriptor. While not explicitly stated, I can't really find a sensible
> interpretation of that requirement that is different from "as if by way
> of close()". POSIX has no concept of closing file descriptors in any
> other way. And dup3() is an extension function, but I think most
> programmers will understand it to be an extension of dup2(), so the same
> argument applies there.
> So, do we need to call __aio_close() in dup2() and dup3()?

I'm not sure. Unlike close, which invalidates the fd and makes any
subsequent use by aio a use-after-close bug (extremely dangerous),
dup2/dup3 does not invalidate the fd. They change what it refers to.
While I'm not sure this is sanctioned by POSIX, it would be reasonable
to want to *atomically replace* an fd that aio is pending on, such
that the operations happen either on the previously-referenced open
file description or the new one (but never zero or both).

On the other hand, I don't see a safe way to implement __aio_close
semantics for dup2/dup3, because you can't know in advance whether
it's going to succeed, and once it succeeds, you can no longer do the
work __aio_close would have done. I think you'd have to juggle around
temporary fds to make it work in any reasonable way.

Most likely, it's just supposed to be UB to replace an fd with pending
aio operations on it using dup2/dup3. (BTW, dup3 is not just an
extension, it's POSIX-future, so all this applies to it too.)


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