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SubjectRe: ptrace fixes for 3.2
Hello, Oleg.

On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 04:44:04PM +0100, Oleg Nesterov wrote:
> It fails because ->real_parent sees its child in EXIT_DEAD state
> while the tracer is going to change the state back to EXIT_ZOMBIE
> in wait_task_zombie().

Argh.... EXIT_ZOMBIE -> DEAD -> ZOMBIE dancing in wait_task_zombie()
is just nasty. Didn't realize it was doing that. :(

> The offending commit is 823b018e which moved the EXIT_DEAD check,
> but in fact we should not blame it. The original code was not
> correct as well because it didn't take ptrace_reparented() into
> account and because we can't really trust ->ptrace.
> This patch adds the additional check to close this particular
> race but it doesn't solve the whole problem. We simply can't
> rely on ->ptrace in this case, it can be cleared if the tracer
> is multithreaded by the exiting ->parent.

I'm not following this part. Can you please explain it in a bit more

> I think we should kill EXIT_DEAD altogether, we should always
> remove the soon-to-be-reaped child from ->children or at least
> we should never do the DEAD->ZOMBIE transition. But this is too
> complex for 3.2.

Agreed. Removing the reverse transition shouldn't be too difficult
and can be done without affecting fast non-ptrace path. ie. if the
child is ptraced, drop readlock, grab writelock, recheck, buffer
states to copy out to userland, detach and transit to DEAD if

> Also, I think wait_consider_task() needs more fixes. I do not
> think we should clear ->notask_error without WEXITED in this
> case, but this is what we do in the EXIT_ZOMBIE case.

Hmmm... I'm not sure about that. Why do you think so?

> Reported-by: Denys Vlasenko <>
> Cc: v3.0.. <>
> Signed-off-by: Oleg Nesterov <>

Anyways, the fix looks good to me.

Acked-by: Tejun Heo <>

Thank you.


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