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SubjectRe: [PATCH] kexec: Update vmcoreinfo after crash happened
On 03/20/2017 at 09:04 PM, Petr Tesarik wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:17:42 +0800
> Xunlei Pang <> wrote:
>> On 03/19/2017 at 02:23 AM, Petr Tesarik wrote:
>>> On Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:40:58 +0800
>>> Xunlei Pang <> wrote:
>>>> On 03/16/2017 at 09:18 PM, Baoquan He wrote:
>>>>> On 03/16/17 at 08:36pm, Xunlei Pang wrote:
>>>>>> On 03/16/2017 at 08:27 PM, Baoquan He wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi Xunlei,
>>>>>>> Did you really see this ever happened? Because the vmcore size estimate
>>>>>>> feature, namely --mem-usage option of makedumpfile, depends on the
>>>>>>> vmcoreinfo in 1st kernel, your change will break it.
>>>>>> Hi Baoquan,
>>>>>> I can reproduce it using a kernel module which modifies the vmcoreinfo,
>>>>>> so it's a problem can actually happen.
>>>>>>> If not, it could be not good to change that.
>>>>>> That's a good point, then I guess we can keep the crash_save_vmcoreinfo_init(),
>>>>>> and store again all the vmcoreinfo after crash. What do you think?
>>>>> Well, then it will make makedumpfile segfault happen too when execute
>>>>> below command in 1st kernel if it existed:
>>>>> makedumpfile --mem-usage /proc/kcore
>>>> Yes, if the initial vmcoreinfo data was modified before "makedumpfile --mem-usage", it might happen,
>>>> after all the system is going something wrong. And that's why we deploy kdump service at the very
>>>> beginning when the system has a low possibility of going wrong.
>>>> But we have to guarantee kdump vmcore can be generated correctly as possible as it can.
>>>>> So we still need to face that problem and need fix it. vmcoreinfo_note
>>>>> is in kernel data area, how does module intrude into this area? And can
>>>>> we fix the module code?
>>>> Bugs always exist in products, we can't know what will happen and fix all the errors,
>>>> that's why we need kdump.
>>>> I think the following update should guarantee the correct vmcoreinfo for kdump.
>>> I'm still not convinced. I would probably have more trust in a clean
>>> kernel (after boot) than a kernel that has already crashed (presumably
>>> because of a serious bug). How can be reliability improved by running
>>> more code in unsafe environment?
>> Correct, I realized that, so used crc32 to protect the original data,
>> but since Eric left a more reasonable idea, I will try that later.
>>> If some code overwrites reserved areas (such as vmcoreinfo), then it's
>>> seriously buggy. And in my opinion, it is more difficult to identify
>>> such bugs if they are masked by re-initializing vmcoreinfo after crash.
>>> In fact, if makedumpfile in the kexec'ed kernel complains that it
>>> didn't find valid VMCOREINFO content, that's already a hint.
>>> As a side note, if you're debugging a vmcoreinfo corruption, it's
>>> possible to use a standalone VMCOREINFO file with makedumpfile, so you
>>> can pre-generate it and save it in the kdump initrd.
>>> In short, I don't see a compelling case for this change.
>> E.g. 1) wrong code overwrites vmcoreinfo_data; 2) further crashes the
>> system; 3) trigger kdump, then we obviously will fail to recognize the
>> crash context correctly due to the corrupted vmcoreinfo. Everyone
>> will get confused if met such unfortunate customer-side issue.
>> Although it's corner case, if it's easy to fix, then I think we better do it.
>> Now except for vmcoreinfo, all the crash data is well protected (including
>> cpu note which is fully updated in the crash path, thus its correctness is
>> guaranteed).
> Hm, I think we shouldn't combine the two things.
> Protecting VMCOREINFO with SHA (just as the other information passed to
> the secondary kernel) sounds right to me. Re-creating the info while
> the kernel is already crashing does not sound particularly good.
> Yes, your patch may help in some scenarios, but in general it also
> increases the amount of code that must reliably work in a crashed
> environment. I can still recall why the LKCD approach (save the dump
> directly from the crashed kernel) was abandoned...

Agree on this point, there is nearly no extra code added to the crash path in v3,
maybe you can have a quick look.

> Apart, there's a lot of other information that might be corrupted (e.g.
> the purgatory code, elfcorehdr, secondary kernel, or the initrd).

Those are located at the crash memory, they can be protected by either
SHA or the arch_kexec_protect_crashkres() mechanism(if implemented).

> Why is this VMCOREINFO so special?

It is also a chunk passed to 2nd kernel like the above-mentioned information,
we better treat it like them as well.


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