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Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012 22:00:21 +0400
From: Vasily Kulikov <>
Subject: kref_overflow


The light version of PAX_REFCOUNT was backported to Owl kernel.
It protects kref only, not all atomic_t.  The pro is almost zero maintenance
time.  The con is obviously missing protection for counters which were not
explicitly marked as refcounter by using kref instead of atomic_t.

The sysctl for it is kernel.kref_overflow_action.  It can be set to:

0 - no overflow check at all.  Current upstream behaviour.
1 - protection is on (default).  Each overflow emits stack dump and a big log
2 - the same as 1 plus the current task is killed.
3 - an overflow leads to kernel panic.

I'd want to implement the same scheme for PAX_USERCOPY with


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