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SubjectRe: [GIT] Networking
Hi Linus,

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015, at 10:39, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 3:32 PM, David Miller <>
> wrote:
> >
> > This may look a bit scary this late in the release cycle, but as is typically
> > the case it's predominantly small driver fixes all over the place.
> Christ people. This is just sh*t.
> The conflict I get is due to stupid new gcc header file crap. But what
> makes me upset is that the crap is for completely bogus reasons.
> This is the old code in net/ipv6/ip6_output.c:
> mtu -= hlen + sizeof(struct frag_hdr);
> and this is the new "improved" code that uses fancy stuff that wants
> magical built-in compiler support and has silly wrapper functions for
> when it doesn't exist:
> if (overflow_usub(mtu, hlen + sizeof(struct frag_hdr), &mtu) ||
> mtu <= 7)
> goto fail_toobig;
> and anybody who thinks that the above is
> (a) legible
> (b) efficient (even with the magical compiler support)
> (c) particularly safe

I still want to present an argument in favor of those overflow

On a very quick look it is obvious that someone cared about wrap-around
or overflow on this code without diagnosing the checks above.

And that was the reason I tried to use it.

> is just incompetent and out to lunch.
> The above code is sh*t, and it generates shit code. It looks bad, and
> there's no reason for it.

Yes, overflow_usub is a bad example where IMHO the compiler cannot
improve a lot.

I think it gets more interesting in case of signed integers where the
compiler can simply generate a seto instruction instead of manually
checking the input variables for ranges before doing the calculation.
E.g. especially for multiplication it is quite clear.

> The code could *easily* have been done with just a single and
> understandable conditional, and the compiler would actually have
> generated better code, and the code would look better and more
> understandable. Why is this not
> if (mtu < hlen + sizeof(struct frag_hdr) + 8)
> goto fail_toobig;
> mtu -= hlen + sizeof(struct frag_hdr);
> which is the same number of lines, doesn't use crazy helper functions
> that nobody knows what they do, and is much more obvious what it
> actually does.
> I guarantee that the second more obvious version is easier to read and
> understand. Does anybody really want to dispute this?

When reading through the code I have to jump back from the third line
back to the first one just to check if the lengths adds up. I absolutely
see your point, but I don't find the overflow_* helpers horrid but still
useful. If one is used to how the arguments line up on the overflow
helpers I find them quite easy to read.

> Really. Give me *one* reason why it was written in that idiotic way
> with two different conditionals, and a shiny new nonstandard function
> that wants particular compiler support to generate even half-way sane
> code, and even then generates worse code? A shiny function that we
> have never ever needed anywhere else, and that is just
> compiler-masturbation.

I agree as a bugfix I could have find a simpler solution.

> And yes, you still could have overflow issues if the whole "hlen +
> xyz" expression overflows, but quite frankly, the "overflow_usub()"
> code had that too. So if you worry about that, then you damn well
> didn't do the right thing to begin with.

Sure, there was no need to test against that because it couldn't.

> So I really see no reason for this kind of complete idiotic crap.
> Tell me why. Because I'm not pulling this kind of completely insane
> stuff that generates conflicts at rc7 time, and that seems to have
> absolutely no reason for being anm idiotic unreadable mess.

I can understand that and will fix it up asap for rc7.

> The code seems *designed* to use that new "overflow_usub()" code. It
> seems to be an excuse to use that function.

Somehow I feel a bit guilty here. :) Actually I do find them quite

> And it's a f*cking bad excuse for that braindamage.
> I'm sorry, but we don't add idiotic new interfaces like this for
> idiotic new code like that.
> Yes, yes, if this had stayed inside the network layer I would never
> have noticed. But since I *did* notice, I really don't want to pull
> this. In fact, I want to make it clear to *everybody* that code like
> this is completely unacceptable. Anybody who thinks that code like
> this is "safe" and "secure" because it uses fancy overflow detection
> functions is so far out to lunch that it's not even funny. All this
> kind of crap does is to make the code a unreadable mess with code that
> no sane person will ever really understand what it actually does.
> Get rid of it. And I don't *ever* want to see that shit again.

I don't want to give up on that this easily:

In future I would like to see an interface like this. It is often hard
to do correct overflow/wrap-around tests and it would be great if there
are helper functions which could easily and without a lot of thinking be
used by people to remove those problems from the kernel. While the
interface is at first difficult to use it is still much easier and less
error-prone than trying to come up with integer overflow checks e.g. for
multiplication in the integer domain.

It is not that the Linux kernel already had security vulnerabilities
because of missing overflow checks and explicitly pointing out that for
this variable it is handled seems like a good thing to me.

I will revert those patches in net and send them over to DaveM but I
think such an interface would still be nice to have.

Are you absolutely against such an interface in future? Don't you like
the design on how arguments are handled? Could I improve on that?


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