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SubjectRe: [PATCH] arm64: defconfig: update and enable CONFIG_RANDOMIZE_BASE
Hi Nick, Kees, Ard,

Thanks for the responses.

On Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 01:27:45PM -0700, Nick Desaulniers wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 1:17 AM Ard Biesheuvel
> <> wrote:
> > On Thu, 20 Jun 2019 at 09:47, Will Deacon <> wrote:
> > > On the flip side, I worry that it could make debugging more difficult, but I
> > > don't know whether that's a genuine concern or not. I'm assuming you've
> > > debugged your fair share of crashes from KASLR-enabled kernels; how bad is
> > > it? (I'm thinking of the case where somebody mails you part of a panic log
> > > and a .config).
> I don't recall specific cases where KASLR made debugging difficult. I
> went and spoke to our stability team that debugs crash reports from
> the field. My understanding is that we capture full ramdumps. They
> have a lot of custom tooling for debugging, but they did not recall
> ever having to disable KASLR to debug further. We've had KASLR
> enabled since I think the 2016 Pixel 1, so I assume their tooling
> accounts for the seed/offset.
> I think if a full ramdump of the kernel image is loaded into GDB with
> the matching kernel image it "just works" but could be mistaken. For
> external developers, "nokaslr" boot time param is pretty standard.
> > In fact, given how many Android phones are running this code: Nick,
> > can you check if there are any KASLR related kernel fixes that haven't
> > been upstreamed?
> I spoke with the android common kernel team that's trying to burn down
> their out of tree patches. I triple checked a doc they had where they
> had audited every last patch, looking for for KASLR and
> CONFIG_RANDOMIZE_BASE. I also triple checked our internal bug tracker
> for burning down the out of tree patches. Finally I'm scanning each
> branch of our android-common trees via `git log --all --grep
> <KASLR|CONFIG_RANDOMIZE_BASE>`. I haven't found anything yet, and the
> team doesn't expect any out of tree patches related to that feature.
> Sorry for not responding sooner, but I'm still going through our 4.4,
> 4.9, 4.14, and 4.19 branches.

Thanks for having a look. It could be that we've fixed the issue Catalin was
running into in the past -- he was going to see if the problem persists with
mainline, since it was frequent enough that it was causing us to ignore the
results from our testing infrastructure when RANDOMIZE_BASE=y.

> > So KASLR is known to be broken unless you enable KPTI as well, so that
> > is something we could take into account. I.e., mitigations that don't
> > reduce the attack surface at all are just pointless complexity, which
> > should obviously be avoided.
> (Note to Sami + Jeff if they had KPTI on their radar)

I mean, we could have RANDOMIZE_BASE select UNMAP_KERNEL_AT_EL0 if you like?
The latter is already default y and hidden behind EXPERT.

> > Another thing to note is that the runtime cost of KASLR is ~zero, with
> > the exception of the module PLTs. However, the latter could do with
> > some additional coverage as well, so in summary, I think enabling this
> > is a good thing. Otherwise, we could disable full module randomization
> > so that the module PLT code doesn't get used in practice.
> >
> > Acked-by: Ard Biesheuvel <>
> Olof mentioned on IRC that I should resend without the other defconfig
> changes. Do others have thoughts on that?

That's not a bad idea. If you do that, feel free to add my Ack to the one

Acked-by: Will Deacon <>


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