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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3 02/13] tracing: split out syscall_trace_enter construction

* Will Drewry <wad@chromium.org> wrote:

> perf appears to be the primary consumer of the CONFIG_FTRACE_SYSCALLS
> infrastructure. As such, many the helpers target at perf can be split
> into a peerf-focused helper and a generic CONFIG_FTRACE_SYSCALLS
> consumer interface.
>
> This change splits out syscall_trace_enter construction from
> perf_syscall_enter for current into two helpers:
> - ftrace_syscall_enter_state
> - ftrace_syscall_enter_state_size
>
> And adds another helper for completeness:
> - ftrace_syscall_exit_state_size
>
> These helpers allow for shared code between perf ftrace events and
> any other consumers of CONFIG_FTRACE_SYSCALLS events. The proposed
> seccomp_filter patches use this code.
>
> Signed-off-by: Will Drewry <wad@chromium.org>
> ---
> include/trace/syscall.h | 4 ++
> kernel/trace/trace_syscalls.c | 96 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++------
> 2 files changed, 86 insertions(+), 14 deletions(-)

So, looking at the diffstat comparison again:

bitmask (2009): 6 files changed, 194 insertions(+), 22 deletions(-)
filter engine (2010): 18 files changed, 1100 insertions(+), 21 deletions(-)
event filters (2011): 5 files changed, 82 insertions(+), 16 deletions(-)

you went back to the middle solution again which is the worst of them
- why?

If you want this to be a stupid, limited hack then go for the v1
bitmask.

If you agree with my observation that filters allow the clean
user-space implementation of LSM equivalent security solutions (of
which sandboxes are just a *narrow special case*) then please use the
main highlevel abstraction we have defined around them: event
filters.

Now, my observation was not uncontested so let me try to sum up the
rather large discussion that erupted around it, as i see it.

I saw four main counter arguments:

- "Sandboxing is special and should stay separate from LSMs."

I think this is a technically bogus argument, see:

https://lkml.org/lkml/2011/5/26/85

That answer of mine went unchallenged.

- "Events should only be observers."

Even ignoring the question of why on earth it should be a problem
for a willing call-site to use event filtering results sensibly,
this argument misses the plain fact that events are *already*
active participants, see:

http://www.spinics.net/lists/mips/msg41075.html

That answer of mine went unchallenged too.

- "This feature is too simplistic."

That's wrong i think, the feature is highly flexible:

http://www.mail-archive.com/linuxppc-dev@lists.ozlabs.org/msg51387.html

This reply of mine went unchallenged as well.

- "Is this feature actually useful enough for applications, does it
justify the complexity?"

This is the *only* valid technical counter-argument i saw, and it's
a crutial one that is not fully answered yet. Since i think the feature
is an LSM equivalent i think it's at least as useful as any LSM is.

- [ if i missed any important argument then someone please insert it
here. ]

But what you do here is to use the filter engine directly which is
both a limited hack *and* complex (beyond the linecount it doubles
our ABI exposure, amongst other things), so i find that approach
rather counter-productive, now that i've seen the real thing.

Will this feature be just another example of the LSM status quo
dragging down a newcomer into the mud, until it's just as sucky and
limited as any existing LSMs? That would be a sad outcome!

Thanks,

Ingo

ps. Please start a new discussion thread for the next iteration!
This one is *way* too deep already.


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