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SubjectRe: [patch 1/2] Validate itimer timeval from userspace
Thomas Gleixner <> wrote:
> On Sat, 2006-03-18 at 13:09 -0800, Andrew Morton wrote:
> > > Of course I can convert it that way, if we want to keep this "help
> > > sloppy programmers aid" alive.
> > >
> >
> > It would be strange to set an alarm for 0xffffffff seconds in the future
> > but yeah, unless we can point at a reason why nobody could have ever been
> > doing that, we should turn this into permanent, documented behaviour of
> > Linux 2.6 and earlier, I'm afraid.
> We have to take two things into account:
> 1. sys_alarm()
> The alarm value 0xFFFFFFFF is valid as the argument to alarm() is an
> unsigned int. So we have to convert this to 0x7FFFFFFF (for 32bit
> machines) because timeval.tv_sec is a signed long. This is done by the
> alarm patch, which is necessary whether we check the sanity of the
> timeval in do_setitimer or not. The current -rc6 kernel sends the alarm
> with the next timer tick, which will break an application which set it
> to something > INT_MAX.
> Of course we could do this by the silent conversion of negative values
> in setitimer too. But thats insane as we rely on some broken feature.

So you're saying that sys_alarm(0xffffffff) needs to behave as

I guess if we have to do it that way, the risk of breaking anything is very

What's the 2.4/2.6.13 behaviour of sys_alarm(0xffffffff)?

> 2. setitimer()
> An application would have to set value.it_value.tv_sec to a negative
> value to trigger this. Also uninitialized usage of struct timevals can
> cause such behaviour.
> I'm not sure, if it is sane to ingore this.

What does 2.4/2.6.13 do? Let's do that.

If you're proposing that we depart from previous behaviour by converting
setitimer(0xffffffff) into setitimer(0x7fffffff) then I guess we could live
with that.

> I can change the itimer
> validate patch for now to do
> if (unlikely(!timeval_valid(v))
> fixup_timeval(v);
> and print an appropriate warning in fixup_timeval() for the time being.

No, we cannot warn - it'll enable unprivileged users to spam the logs.

One could generate a once-per-reboot warning, I guess. The message should
include the PID and current->comm.

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