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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/1] system call notification with self_ptrace
Hello Oleg,

You are right, the functionality can be implemented with the system call.
But it means we have the overhead of a system call just to clear two bits,

On the other hand we have an overhead of one single "if" inside
the handle_signal() function.

We can do the same with fork and ptrace, yes, but with a very big
overhead on each system call and this is why this patch is so usefull:
because with this patch you sit inside the thread when analysing it and
have a direct access to all data without the need of IPC, ptrace or any
task switch.

I will provide a test program and plan to release a tracing tool based
on it.
I think I can reduce the task struct modification by using just a bit
like you suggest if nobody seen any problem with this.

best regards,


Oleg Nesterov wrote:
> On 09/10, Pierre Morel wrote:
>> Oleg Nesterov wrote:
>>> I still think this patch shouldn't change handle_signal().
>>> Once again. The signal handler for SIGSYS can first do
>>> sys_ptrace(PTRACE_SELF_OFF) (which is filtered out), and then use any
>>> other syscall, so this change is not needed, afaics.
>> Yes it can but what if the application forget to do it?
>> It is a security so that the application do not bounce for ever.
> The (buggy) task can be killed, this has nothing to do with security.
> From the security pov, this case doesn't differ from, say,
> void sigh(int sig)
> {
> kill(getpid(), sig);
> }
> void main(void)
> {
> signal(SIGSYS, sigh);
> kill(getpid(), SIGSYS);
> }
> Or I missed something?
>>> So, PTRACE_SELF_XXX disables the "normal" ptrace. Not sure this is good.
>> I think that having two tracing system one over the other may be
>> quite difficult to handle.
> Yes I see.
> But... well, I think we need Roland's opinion. I must admit, I am a bit
> sceptical about this patch ;) I mean, I don't really understand why it
> is useful. We can do the same with fork() + ptrace(). Yes, in that
> case we need an "extra" context switch for any traced syscall. But,
> do you have any "real life" example to demonstrate that the user-space
> solution sucks? We can even use CLONE_MM to speedup the context switch.
> Pierre, don't get me wrong. I never used debuggers for myself, I will
> be happy to know I am wrong. I just don't understand.
> As for ->instrumentation. If you are going to remove PTS_INSTRUMENTED,
> we need only one bit. We could use PF_PTS_SELF, but ->flags is already
> "contended". Perhaps you can do something like
> --- include/linux/sched.h
> +++ include/linux/sched.h
> @@ -1088,6 +1088,7 @@ struct task_struct {
> /* ??? */
> unsigned int personality;
> unsigned did_exec:1;
> + unsigned pts_self:1;
> pid_t pid;
> pid_t tgid;
> Both did_exec and pts_self can only be changed by current, so it is
> safe to share the same word. This way we don't enlarge task_struct.
> Oleg.

Pierre Morel
RTOS and Embedded Linux

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