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SubjectRe: [announce] [patch] NX (No eXecute) support for x86, 2.6.7-rc2-bk2

* Linus Torvalds <> wrote:

> I think we should just look at the executable itself, not whether it
> is suid. If the executable says it is "NX-approved", then it's
> NX-approved. End of story - just try to make sure that as many
> executables as possible get compiled with the newer compiler suite
> that enables it.

right now the 'x' bit in the PT_GNU_STACK ELF program header has the
narrow meaning of specifcing the stack's executability. How should we
handle the brk area's executability? A good portion of recent attacks
came over heap overflows.

we could use the following 3 values:

PT_GNU_STACK not present: legacy app, stack and heap executable
PT_GNU_STACK present but !X: heap non-executable, stack executable
PT_GNU_STACK present and X: both heap and stack are executable.

this method is what is used in Fedora and it works pretty well.

(in fact Fedora also does VM-layout changes to get more brk/mmap space
on x86 and to put executable code close to each other - this too is
turned off if PT_GNU_STACK is not present.)

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