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SubjectRe: [patch] fixed both processes in D state and the /proc/ oopses [Re: [patch] Fixed the race that was oopsing Linux-2.2.0]

On Thu, 28 Jan 1999, Stephen C. Tweedie wrote:
> Yep, but Andrea did point out what looks like at least one valid race:
> sys_wait* on a zombie task can remove and deallocate the task_struct
> without taking the global lock. Reverting the diff is the right thing
> for 2.2.1, but once we've done that we may need to look at either
> keeping the task lock until we have finished with the task_struct in
> array.c, or doing a memcpy on the task while we still have it locked.
> That does seem to be a valid fix.

I'd much rather just use some stale "struct task_struct" data.

What we _might_ do in /proc, is to just increment the usage count for the
(double) page that contains the task structure, so that even if a
release() does happen while we're using the page, the page won't get
re-used, and we can essentially look at all the info as it was when it was

Note that by the time it has become a zombie, it will have released all
the mm stuff anyway, so we don't even have any dangerous stale mm pointers
that we'd follow: we'd only be looking at that one structure.

Voila, no memcpy(), no silly locks, no problems.

Anyway, for 2.2.1 I don't even want to be clever. As it is (with the bogus
array.c race "fixes" removed), the page may get freed without any kernel
lock, and we may return _completely_ bogus information, but that is (a)
extremely unlikely in the first place and (b) basically harmless and
pretty much impossible to exploit.


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