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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 0/5] pid: add pidfd_open()
On Mon, Apr 1, 2019 at 3:13 PM Linus Torvalds
<> wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 1, 2019 at 2:58 PM Jonathan Kowalski <> wrote:
> >
> > You mention the race about learning the PID, PID being recycled, and
> > pidfd_open getting the wrong reference.
> >
> > This exists with the /proc model to way. How do you propose to address this?
> Note that that race exists _regardless_ of any interfaces.
> pidfd_open() has the same race: any time you have a pid, the lifetime
> of it is only as long as the process existing.
> That's why we talked about the CLONE_PIDFD flag, which would return
> the pidfd itself when creating a new process. That's one truly
> race-free way to handle it.

Yes. Returning a pidfd from clone seems like a simple and robust approach.

> Or just do the fork(), and know that the pid won't be re-used until
> you've done the wait() for it, and block SIGCHLD until you've done the
> lookup.

That doesn't work when some other thread is running a waitpid(-1)
loop. I think it's important to create an interface that libraries can
use without global coordination.

> That said, in *practice*, you can probably use any of the racy "look
> up pidfd using pid" models, as long as you just verify the end result
> after you've opened it.
> That verification could be as simple as "look up the parent pid of the
> pidfd I got", if you know you created it with fork() (and you can
> obviously track what _other_ thread you yourself created, so you can
> verify whether it is yours or not).
> For example, using "openat(pidfd, "status", ..)", but also by just
> tracking what you've done waitpid() on (but you need to look out for
> subtle races with another thread being in the process of doing so).
> Or you can just say that as long as you got the pidfd quickly after
> the fork(), any pid wrapping attack is practically not possible even
> if it might be racy in theory.

I don't like ignoring races just because they're rare. The cost of
complete race freedom for the process interface is low considering the
work we're doing on pidfds anyway.

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