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SubjectRe: UDP recvmsg blocks after select(), 2.6 bug?
On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 11:05:09 -0400, Mark Mielke <> wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 17, 2004 at 04:17:06PM +0200, Buddy Lucas wrote:
> > On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 15:35:37 +0200, Lars Marowsky-Bree <> wrote:
> > > The SuV spec is actually quite detailed about the options here:
> > > A descriptor shall be considered ready for reading when a call
> > > to an input function with O_NONBLOCK clear would not block,
> > > whether or not the function would transfer data successfully.
> > > (The function might return data, an end-of-file indication, or
> > > an error other than one indicating that it is blocked, and in
> > > each of these cases the descriptor shall be considered ready for
> > > reading.)
> > But it says nowhere that the select()/recvmsg() operation is atomic, right?
> This is a distraction. If the call to select() had been substituted
> with a call to recvmsg(), it would have blocked. Instead, select() is
> returning 'yes, you can read', and then recvmsg() is blocking. The
> select() lied. The information is all sitting in the kernel packet

No. A million things might happen between select() and recvmsg(), both
in kernel and application. For a consistent behaviour throughout all
possibilities, you *have* to assume that any read on a blocking fd may
block, and that a fd ready for reading at select() time might not be
readable once the app gets to recvmsg() -- for whatever reason.

And indeed, that implies that select() on blocking fds is generally
not useful if you expect to bypass the blocking through select().
Personally, I think any application that implements this expectation
is broken. (If only because you might have to do a second read() or
recvmsg() which will either result in a crappy select() loop or a
broken read()/recvmsg() loop).

> [snip]

> poorly wirtten. For blocking sockets, it makes select() useless as a
> reliable mechanism for determining whether or not the recvmsg() will
> block. I say useless, because I don't know why any professional

That use of select() *is* useless, there's no doubt about that. It is
an application problem though.

> [snip]

> In the above paragraph, I only prove that the atomic argument is

Where's the proof?! You *define* some behaviour that you think makes most sense.

> irrelevant and a distraction. The current behaviour might be
> acceptable - but only if it is widely known and understood that
> select() should not be used with blocking sockets *AT ALL* under
> Linux. Somebody showed what looks to be a successful DOS of inetd on
> Linux based on this new knowledge. The existence of this thread
> suggests that it isn't widely known or understood.

That is not a DoS, it is an application feature or bug, depending on
what the programmer was thinking.

> I want to trust Linux with production systems. Any sort of opinion

From a pragmatic point of view, it may be comforting to know that most
applications that can now be considered broken will *still* be broken
even if a recvmsg() will never block after select() has given the
verdict "Thou shalt read".

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