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SubjectRe: [PATCH] kernel/sysctl: return -EINVAL if write invalid val to ulong type sysctl
Yisheng Xie <xieyisheng1@huawei.com> writes:

> On 2016/12/1 5:33, Andrew Morton wrote:
>> On Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:30:52 +0800 Yisheng Xie <xieyisheng1@huawei.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I tried to echo an invalid value to an unsigned long type sysctl on
>>> 4.9.0-rc6:
>>> linux:~# cat /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
>>> 131072
>>> linux:~# echo -1 > /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
>>> linux:~# cat /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
>>> 131072
>>>
>>> The echo operation got error and the value do not write to
>>> user_reserve_kbytes, however, user do not know it until checking
>>> the value again.
>>>
>>> This patch return -EINVAL when write an invalid value to unsigned
>>> long type sysctl to make user know what happened without
>>> checking its value once more, just as what proc_douintvec do.
>>
>> hmpf.
>>
>> # echo 18446744073709551615 > /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
>> # cat /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
>> 18446744073709551615
>>
>> I think that when taking in an unsigned long the kernel should simply
>> treat -1 as 0xffffffff (or 0xffffffffffffffff). It's natural and
>> normal and everyone knows what it means?
>>
> Hi Andrew,
> Thank you for your reply.
> Do you means it should be like this:
> # echo -1 > /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
> # cat /proc/sys/vm/user_reserve_kbytes
> 18446744073709551615
>
> I looks ok to me, however, I not sure whether other code in the kernel
> will also use its complement if user write a negative number for an
> unsigned long. Does anyone have other opinion ?

Largely we need to be very careful with changing these functions as
they have been around for a long time, and have a very diverse set of
users.

So while changes are possible a reasonable argument needs to be made
that nothing in userspace cares.

Eric

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