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SubjectRe: Change in functionality of futex() system call.
On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 11:20 AM, David Oliver <david@rgmadvisors.com> wrote:
>
> Having a new call is inelegant from a futex(2) user perspective, as
> the need for a change is due to the kernel implementation and/or mutex
> requirements. The futex() system call, as documented, is ideal for a
> single producer to signal multiple receivers of state updates.
>
> If it is truly necessary to add new variants to futex() to protect
> applications that allow untrusted applications read access to their
> mutexes, I would avoid both the names suggested, as consumption of
> wakeups is not an obvious issue to users, and POLL suggests waiting
> for multiple entities as in poll(2) (which is not provided), or
> returning immediately (which is orthogonally provided by the timeout
> parameter). What is being provided from the user point of view is a
> FUTEX_WAIT per the man page, which doesn't require write access. How
> about FUTEX_WAIT_RDONLY?

That name sounds good.

>
> Alternatively, use the current call and document that when process
> performing a FUTEX_WAIT on read-only memory are woken, they do not
> count towards the number reported as being woken.

I don't see anything wrong with that, either.

>
> Best, IMHO, would be to document that providing read access to mutexes
> to untrusted software is unsafe behavior, and restore read only access
> to readers of futexes.

I think it should be safe, and it would be easy to make it be safe
(i.e. make no changes at all).

--Andy


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