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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/5] fs, xfs refcount conversions
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 3:04 PM, Darrick J. Wong
<darrick.wong@oracle.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 10:24:04AM -0700, Darrick J. Wong wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 08:11:41AM +0000, Reshetova, Elena wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > > v3:
>> > > * fixed header file inclusion
>> >
>> > I don't think I have heard anything back on this v3 patch set.
>> > Is there still smth here to fix or could you take the changes in?
>>
>> Generally I think it looks ok; it's running through shakedown testing as
>> we speak.
>
> Well, it survives the shakedown testing all right, but I can't shake the
> feeling that this is overkill. The xfs_{ef,bu,cu,ru}i_log_item
> structures should only ever be referenced by the log itself and the
> log-update-done log item: the refcount should only ever go 2 -> 1 -> 0.
> We set the refcount to 2 and never increment it.

I haven't studied this code, but I think it'd likely be worth keeping
it just to catch any future bug that might appear. If it doesn't
create a problem, we should use refcount_t for anything that is being
used as a reference counter.

> Given that I've seen occasional refcounting problems with the log intent
> items, I think it would suffice to ASSERT in xfs_*i_release that the
> refcount isn't already zero. Using ASSERT is particularly useful
> because ASSERT compiles out in release builds.

We _absolutely_ don't want to compile out these checks: the point is
to catch flaws that are discovered and could be exploited in the wild
before updates could be delivered to a system (if they ever are at
all).

> As for the xlog_ticket, we increment its refcount as part of duplicating
> a transaction as a part of committing one transaction (which decrements
> the xlog_ticket's refcount) and reusing the log reservation to create a
> new transaction. In this case the refcounting already seems to have
> sufficient non-zero checks, and since only one thread can hold a
> transaction at any given time, I don't see how overflow protection helps
> here.
>
> In other words, I'm ok with better refcount checking but need convincing
> that we need to do more than what a simple ASSERT would provide.

If it doesn't get in your way, and it really is reference counting
(which it sounds like it is), we should be using refcount_t. The kinds
of bugs we've seen over the last decade continually prove that we'll
see refcount issues where we least expect it, and we need to catch
them.

Thanks!

-Kees

--
Kees Cook
Pixel Security

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