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Subject[PATCH manpages 2/2] arch_prctl.2, set_thread_area.2, get_thread_area.2: Improve TLS documentation
Date
The documentation for set_thread_area was very vague.  This improves
it, accounts for recent kernel changes, and merges it with
get_thread_area.2.

While I'm at it, clarify the related arch_prctl.2 man page.

Signed-off-by: Andy Lutomirski <luto@amacapital.net>
---
man2/arch_prctl.2 | 22 +++++++-----
man2/get_thread_area.2 | 58 +------------------------------
man2/set_thread_area.2 | 93 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++----
3 files changed, 102 insertions(+), 71 deletions(-)

diff --git a/man2/arch_prctl.2 b/man2/arch_prctl.2
index a3ab2b566915..c89fa3c7b744 100644
--- a/man2/arch_prctl.2
+++ b/man2/arch_prctl.2
@@ -114,27 +114,33 @@ The 64-bit base changes when a new 32-bit segment selector is loaded.
is disabled in some kernels.

Context switches for 64-bit segment bases are rather expensive.
-It may be a faster alternative to set a 32-bit base using a
-segment selector by setting up an LDT with
-.BR modify_ldt (2)
-or using the
+As an optimization, if a 32-bit TLS base address is used,
+.BR arch_prctl (2)
+may use a real TLS entry as if
.BR set_thread_area (2)
-system call in kernel 2.5 or later.
-.BR arch_prctl ()
-is needed only when you want to set bases that are larger than 4GB.
+had been called instead of manipulating the segment base register directly.
Memory in the first 2GB of address space can be allocated by using
.BR mmap (2)
with the
.B MAP_32BIT
flag.

+As a result, using
+.BR arch_prctl (2)
+and
+.BR set_thread_area (2)
+in the same thread is dangerous, as they may overwrite each other's
+TLS entries.
+
As of version 2.7, glibc provides no prototype for
.BR arch_prctl ().
You have to declare it yourself for now.
This may be fixed in future glibc versions.

.I FS
-may be already used by the threading library.
+may be already used by the threading library. Glibc programs that use
+.I ARCH_SET_FS
+directly are very likely to crash.
.SH SEE ALSO
.BR mmap (2),
.BR modify_ldt (2),
diff --git a/man2/get_thread_area.2 b/man2/get_thread_area.2
index 08589e413cc4..a03fe54fb08e 100644
--- a/man2/get_thread_area.2
+++ b/man2/get_thread_area.2
@@ -1,57 +1 @@
-.\" Copyright (C) 2003 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
-.\" Written by Kent Yoder.
-.\"
-.\" %%%LICENSE_START(GPL_NOVERSION_ONELINE)
-.\" This file is distributed according to the GNU General Public License.
-.\" %%%LICENSE_END
-.\"
-.TH GET_THREAD_AREA 2 2012-07-13 "Linux" "Linux Programmer's Manual"
-.SH NAME
-get_thread_area \- get a thread-local storage (TLS) area
-.SH SYNOPSIS
-.B #include <linux/unistd.h>
-.br
-.B #include <asm/ldt.h>
-.sp
-.BI "int get_thread_area(struct user_desc *" u_info );
-
-.IR Note :
-There is no glibc wrapper for this system call; see NOTES.
-.SH DESCRIPTION
-.BR get_thread_area ()
-returns an entry in the current thread's thread-local storage (TLS) array.
-The index of the entry corresponds to the value
-of \fIu_info\->entry_number\fP, passed in by the user.
-If the value is in bounds,
-.BR get_thread_area ()
-copies the corresponding
-TLS entry into the area pointed to by \fIu_info\fP.
-.SH RETURN VALUE
-.BR get_thread_area ()
-returns 0 on success.
-Otherwise, it returns \-1 and sets
-.I errno
-appropriately.
-.SH ERRORS
-.TP
-.B EFAULT
-\fIu_info\fP is an invalid pointer.
-.TP
-.B EINVAL
-\fIu_info\->entry_number\fP is out of bounds.
-.SH VERSIONS
-A version of
-.BR get_thread_area ()
-first appeared in Linux 2.5.32.
-.SH CONFORMING TO
-.BR get_thread_area ()
-is Linux-specific and should not be used in programs
-that are intended to be portable.
-.SH NOTES
-Glibc does not provide a wrapper for this system call,
-since it is generally intended for use only by threading libraries.
-In the unlikely event that you want to call it directly, use
-.BR syscall (2).
-.SH SEE ALSO
-.BR modify_ldt (2),
-.BR set_thread_area (2)
+.so man2/set_thread_area.2
diff --git a/man2/set_thread_area.2 b/man2/set_thread_area.2
index 321beb396312..6acc5f79d1ad 100644
--- a/man2/set_thread_area.2
+++ b/man2/set_thread_area.2
@@ -1,25 +1,54 @@
.\" Copyright (C) 2003 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
+.\" Copyright (C) 2015 Andrew Lutomirski
.\" Author: Kent Yoder
.\"
.\" %%%LICENSE_START(GPL_NOVERSION_ONELINE)
.\" This file is distributed according to the GNU General Public License.
.\" %%%LICENSE_END
.\"
-.TH SET_THREAD_AREA 2 2012-07-13 "Linux" "Linux Programmer's Manual"
+.TH SET_THREAD_AREA 2 2015-01-29 "Linux" "Linux Programmer's Manual"
.SH NAME
-set_thread_area \- set a thread local storage (TLS) area
+set_thread_area \- set a GDT entry for thread-local storage
.SH SYNOPSIS
.B #include <linux/unistd.h>
.br
.B #include <asm/ldt.h>
.sp
+.BI "int get_thread_area(struct user_desc *" u_info );
.BI "int set_thread_area(struct user_desc *" u_info );
+.in +4n
+.nf
+
+struct user_desc {
+ unsigned int entry_number;
+ unsigned long base_addr;
+ unsigned int limit;
+ unsigned int seg_32bit:1;
+ unsigned int contents:2;
+ unsigned int read_exec_only:1;
+ unsigned int limit_in_pages:1;
+ unsigned int seg_not_present:1;
+ unsigned int useable:1;
+};
+.fi
+.in

.IR Note :
There is no glibc wrapper for this system call; see NOTES.
.SH DESCRIPTION
+Linux dedicates three global descriptor table (GDT) entries for
+thread-local storage. For more information about the LDT, see the
+Intel Software Developer's Manual or the AMD Architecture Programming Manual.
+
+.BR get_thread_area ()
+reads the GDT entry indicated by
+.I u_info\->entry_number
+and fills in the rest of the fields in
+.I u_info.
+
.BR set_thread_area ()
-sets an entry in the current thread's thread-local storage (TLS) array.
+sets a TLS entry in the GDT.
+.PP
The TLS array entry set by
.BR set_thread_area ()
corresponds to the value of
@@ -27,7 +56,7 @@ corresponds to the value of
passed in by the user.
If this value is in bounds,
.BR set_thread_area ()
-copies the TLS descriptor pointed to by
+writes the TLS descriptor pointed to by
.I u_info
into the thread's TLS array.
.PP
@@ -35,12 +64,29 @@ When
.BR set_thread_area ()
is passed an
.I entry_number
-of \-1, it uses a free TLS entry.
+of \-1, it finds a free TLS entry.
If
.BR set_thread_area ()
finds a free TLS entry, the value of
.I u_info\->entry_number
is set upon return to show which entry was changed.
+.PP
+A
+.I user_desc
+is considered "empty" if
+.I read_exec_only
+and
+.I seg_not_present
+are set to 1 and all of the other fields are 0. If an "empty" descriptor
+is passed to
+.BR set_thread_area,
+the corresponding TLS entry will be cleared. See BUGS for additional
+details.
+.PP
+On Linux 3.19 and newer,
+.BR set_thread_area ()
+cannot be used to write non-present segments, 16-bit segments, or code
+segments, although clearing a segment is still acceptable.
.SH RETURN VALUE
.BR set_thread_area ()
returns 0 on success, and \-1 on failure, with
@@ -56,6 +102,11 @@ set appropriately.
.TP
.B ESRCH
A free TLS entry could not be located.
+.B ENOSYS
+.BR get_thread_area (2)
+or
+.BR set_thread_area (2)
+was invoked as a 64-bit syscall.
.SH VERSIONS
A version of
.BR set_thread_area ()
@@ -64,10 +115,40 @@ first appeared in Linux 2.5.29.
.BR set_thread_area ()
is Linux-specific and should not be used in programs that are intended
to be portable.
+.SH BUGS
+On 64-bit kernels before Linux 3.19, one of the padding bits in
+.I user_desc,
+if set, would prevent the descriptor from being considered empty.
+As a result, the only reliable way to clear a TLS entry is to use
+memset to zero the entire
+.I user_desc
+structure, including padding bits, and then to set the
+.I read_exec_only
+and
+.I seg_not_present
+bits. On Linux 3.19, a
+.I user_desc
+consisting entirely of zeros except for
+.I entry_number
+will also be interpreted as a request to clear a TLS entry, but this
+behaved differently on older kernels.
+.PP
+Prior to Linux 3.19, the DS and ES segment registers must not reference
+TLS entries.
.SH NOTES
Glibc does not provide a wrapper for this system call,
since it is generally intended only for use by threading libraries.
In the unlikely event that you want to call it directly, use
.BR syscall (2).
+.PP
+.BR arch_prctl (2)
+can interfere with
+.BR set_thread_area (2).
+See
+.BR arch_prctl (2)
+for more details. This is not normally a problem, as
+.BR arch_prctl (2)
+is normally only used by 64-bit programs.
.SH SEE ALSO
-.BR get_thread_area (2)
+.BR arch_prctl (2),
+.BR modify_ldt (2)
--
2.1.0


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