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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Support the nonstring variable attribute (gcc >= 8)
On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 8:05 PM, Martin Sebor <msebor@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 03/02/2018 10:36 AM, Miguel Ojeda wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 10:57 AM, Arnd Bergmann <arnd@arndb.de> wrote:
>>>
>>> On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 1:01 AM, Miguel Ojeda
>>> <miguel.ojeda.sandonis@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 12:20 AM, David Rientjes <rientjes@google.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> On Sat, 17 Feb 2018, Miguel Ojeda wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> From the GCC manual:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The nonstring variable attribute specifies that an object or member
>>>>>> declaration with type array of char or pointer to char is intended to
>>>>>> store character arrays that do not necessarily contain a terminating
>>>>>> NUL
>>>>>> character. This is useful in detecting uses of such arrays or pointers
>>>>>> with functions that expect NUL-terminated strings, and to avoid
>>>>>> warnings
>>>>>> when such an array or pointer is used as an argument to a bounded
>>>>>> string
>>>>>> manipulation function such as strncpy.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/Common-Variable-Attributes.html
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Some reports are already coming to the LKML regarding these
>>>>>> warnings. When they are false positives, we can use __nonstring to let
>>>>>> gcc know a NUL character is not required; like in this case:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/1/16/135
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Signed-off-by: Miguel Ojeda <miguel.ojeda.sandonis@gmail.com>
>>>>>> Cc: Ingo Molnar <mingo@kernel.org>
>>>>>> Cc: Josh Poimboeuf <jpoimboe@redhat.com>
>>>>>> Cc: Kees Cook <keescook@chromium.org>
>>>>>> Cc: Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org>
>>>>>> Cc: Geert Uytterhoeven <geert@linux-m68k.org>
>>>>>> Cc: Will Deacon <will.deacon@arm.com>
>>>>>> Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@linuxfoundation.org>
>>>>>> Cc: David Rientjes <rientjes@google.com>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I would have expected to have seen __nonstring used somewhere as part
>>>>> of
>>>>> this patch.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Do you mean to expand the commit message with an actual code example
>>>> instead of the links to the docs and the discussion about the report?
>>>> Otherwise, if you mean in the actual commit, I think in that case it
>>>> should be a patch series, not a single commit.
>>>>
>>>> In any case, the key point here is to agree on the short-term policy:
>>>> i.e. whether we want to disable the upcoming warning or try to take
>>>> advantage of it (which not *necessarily* implies using __nonstring,
>>>> there are other workarounds; though where applicable, __nonstring is
>>>> probably the right thing to use).
>>>
>>>
>>> What David was asking for is to have a couple of users of the
>>> __nonstring attribute in places for which it is the right solution.
>>>
>>
>> I understood :-) My question was regarding where he was asking to see it.
>>
>>> I would suggest making it a patch series, with patch 1/x introducing
>>> the attribute (i.e. your patch), and followed by additional patches
>>> that add the attribute to individual header files or drivers for which
>>> it is the right solution.
>>
>>
>> Yep, that is what I suggested too.
>>
>>>
>>> When I looked at the warning, I found that we have around 120 file
>>> for which we warn. The majority of them are actually questionable
>>> uses of strncpy() that probably should have been strscpy(), but
>>> most of those do not actually cause undefined behavior.
>>
>>
>> Then it looks like enabling the warning by default is useful and not
>> too noisy (at least for just char).
>>
>>>
>>> A smaller number like the example from ext4 are nonstrings
>>> (i.e. character arrays without nul-termination) that would benefit
>>> from the nonstring attribute. About half of those are actually
>>> arrays of u8/__u8/uint8_t/__uint8_t for which the currently
>>> implemented nonstring attribute is invalid, and it seems odd
>>> to convert those to 'char', e.g.
>>>
>>> struct ext4_super_block {
>>> __le32 s_first_error_time; /* first time an error happened
>>> */
>>> __le32 s_first_error_ino; /* inode involved in first error
>>> */
>>> __le64 s_first_error_block; /* block involved of first error
>>> */
>>> - __u8 s_first_error_func[32]; /* function where the error
>>> happened */
>>> + char s_first_error_func[32] __nonstring; /* function
>>> where the error happened */
>>> __le32 s_first_error_line; /* line number where error
>>> happened */
>>> __le32 s_last_error_time; /* most recent time of an error
>>> */
>>> __le32 s_last_error_ino; /* inode involved in last error
>>> */
>>> __le32 s_last_error_line; /* line number where error
>>> happened */
>>> __le64 s_last_error_block; /* block involved of last error
>>> */
>>> - __u8 s_last_error_func[32]; /* function where the error
>>> happened */
>>> + char s_last_error_func[32] __nonstring; /* function
>>> where the error happened */
>>>
>>> doesn't feel right. Maybe we can extend gcc to also accept
>>> the attribute on arrays of other 8-bit types.
>>
>>
>> Hum... On one hand, the warning is meant to protect against misuses of
>> the typical string handling functions, and those take pointers to
>> char. Therefore, one could argue that using signed or unsigned char
>> already marks an array/pointer as "not a string" (for the purposes of
>> the attribute).
>>
>> On the other hand, people *will* call string handling functions with
>> signed and unsigned char, and for those cases, it is useful to have
>> the warning nevertheless and being able to annotate those arrays with
>> nonstring, which is also good documentation-wise. On top of that, C
>> specifies char as equivalent to either signed or unsigned char (even
>> if it is a distinct type), so one could argue it should work for the
>> three types anyway.
>>
>> Given that 1) this is a warning that can disabled just fine and that
>> 2) we already have real life cases using nonstring, non-char arrays
>> calling typical string handling functions, I would favor supporting
>> the warning and the attribute for all the three types.
>>
>>>
>>>> [By the way, CC'ing Xiongfeng, Willy and Arnd, since they were
>>>> involved in the example report; sorry guys!].
>>>
>>>
>>> Martin Sebor also asked me about this, he's the one that worked on
>>> the gcc code that introduced the warning. Sorry for not replying earlier.
>>>
>>
>> Maybe you can pass this to him? (maybe open a bug in gcc's bugzilla?)
>
>
> I've opened bug 84725 to extend attribute nonstring to the other
> two character types:
>
> https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=84725
>

Thanks Martin! Please let us know whenever it is in the gcc trunk.

Meanwhile I will send a v2 with the auxdisplay original use as an
example for __nonstring in a second patch.

Cheers,
Miguel

> Thanks
> Martin
>
>
>>
>>> For a complete list of affected files, see https://pastebin.com/eWFQf58i
>>> this is what I come up with by doing randconfig builds, but I have not
>>> tried to submit additional patches here, since I'm sure that a lot of
>>> those are wrong -- they need a much closer inspection to decide which
>>> ones are actual bugs vs harmless warnings, and which ones should
>>> use strscpy()/strlcpy() vs a nonstring annotation or a rewrite of that
>>> function.
>>
>>
>> Indeed -- nice work anyway finding those. If we agree on getting the
>> nonstring attribute, maybe you can send that patch as an RFC to ping
>> the respective maintainers?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Miguel
>>
>

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