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Subject[PATCH v2 09/10] kfence, Documentation: add KFENCE documentation
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Add KFENCE documentation in dev-tools/kfence.rst, and add to index.

Co-developed-by: Alexander Potapenko <glider@google.com>
Signed-off-by: Alexander Potapenko <glider@google.com>
Signed-off-by: Marco Elver <elver@google.com>
---
v2:
* Many clarifications based on comments from Andrey Konovalov.
* Document CONFIG_KFENCE_SAMPLE_INTERVAL=0 usage.
* Make use-cases between KASAN and KFENCE clearer.
* Be clearer about the fact the pool is fixed size.
* Update based on reporting changes.
* Explicitly mention max supported allocation size is PAGE_SIZE.
---
Documentation/dev-tools/index.rst | 1 +
Documentation/dev-tools/kfence.rst | 291 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2 files changed, 292 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 Documentation/dev-tools/kfence.rst

diff --git a/Documentation/dev-tools/index.rst b/Documentation/dev-tools/index.rst
index f7809c7b1ba9..1b1cf4f5c9d9 100644
--- a/Documentation/dev-tools/index.rst
+++ b/Documentation/dev-tools/index.rst
@@ -22,6 +22,7 @@ whole; patches welcome!
ubsan
kmemleak
kcsan
+ kfence
gdb-kernel-debugging
kgdb
kselftest
diff --git a/Documentation/dev-tools/kfence.rst b/Documentation/dev-tools/kfence.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..efe86b1b1074
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/dev-tools/kfence.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,291 @@
+.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
+
+Kernel Electric-Fence (KFENCE)
+==============================
+
+Kernel Electric-Fence (KFENCE) is a low-overhead sampling-based memory safety
+error detector. KFENCE detects heap out-of-bounds access, use-after-free, and
+invalid-free errors.
+
+KFENCE is designed to be enabled in production kernels, and has near zero
+performance overhead. Compared to KASAN, KFENCE trades performance for
+precision. The main motivation behind KFENCE's design, is that with enough
+total uptime KFENCE will detect bugs in code paths not typically exercised by
+non-production test workloads. One way to quickly achieve a large enough total
+uptime is when the tool is deployed across a large fleet of machines.
+
+Usage
+-----
+
+To enable KFENCE, configure the kernel with::
+
+ CONFIG_KFENCE=y
+
+To build a kernel with KFENCE support, but disabled by default (to enable, set
+``kfence.sample_interval`` to non-zero value), configure the kernel with::
+
+ CONFIG_KFENCE=y
+ CONFIG_KFENCE_SAMPLE_INTERVAL=0
+
+KFENCE provides several other configuration options to customize behaviour (see
+the respective help text in ``lib/Kconfig.kfence`` for more info).
+
+Tuning performance
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+The most important parameter is KFENCE's sample interval, which can be set via
+the kernel boot parameter ``kfence.sample_interval`` in milliseconds. The
+sample interval determines the frequency with which heap allocations will be
+guarded by KFENCE. The default is configurable via the Kconfig option
+``CONFIG_KFENCE_SAMPLE_INTERVAL``. Setting ``kfence.sample_interval=0``
+disables KFENCE.
+
+The KFENCE memory pool is of fixed size, and if the pool is exhausted, no
+further KFENCE allocations occur. With ``CONFIG_KFENCE_NUM_OBJECTS`` (default
+255), the number of available guarded objects can be controlled. Each object
+requires 2 pages, one for the object itself and the other one used as a guard
+page; object pages are interleaved with guard pages, and every object page is
+therefore surrounded by two guard pages.
+
+The total memory dedicated to the KFENCE memory pool can be computed as::
+
+ ( #objects + 1 ) * 2 * PAGE_SIZE
+
+Using the default config, and assuming a page size of 4 KiB, results in
+dedicating 2 MiB to the KFENCE memory pool.
+
+Error reports
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+A typical out-of-bounds access looks like this::
+
+ ==================================================================
+ BUG: KFENCE: out-of-bounds in test_out_of_bounds_read+0xa3/0x22b
+
+ Out-of-bounds access at 0xffffffffb672efff (left of kfence-#17):
+ test_out_of_bounds_read+0xa3/0x22b
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ kfence-#17 [0xffffffffb672f000-0xffffffffb672f01f, size=32, cache=kmalloc-32] allocated in:
+ test_alloc+0xf3/0x25b
+ test_out_of_bounds_read+0x98/0x22b
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ CPU: 4 PID: 107 Comm: kunit_try_catch Not tainted 5.8.0-rc6+ #7
+ Hardware name: QEMU Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996), BIOS 1.13.0-1 04/01/2014
+ ==================================================================
+
+The header of the report provides a short summary of the function involved in
+the access. It is followed by more detailed information about the access and
+its origin. Note that, real kernel addresses are only shown for
+``CONFIG_DEBUG_KERNEL=y`` builds.
+
+Use-after-free accesses are reported as::
+
+ ==================================================================
+ BUG: KFENCE: use-after-free in test_use_after_free_read+0xb3/0x143
+
+ Use-after-free access at 0xffffffffb673dfe0 (in kfence-#24):
+ test_use_after_free_read+0xb3/0x143
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ kfence-#24 [0xffffffffb673dfe0-0xffffffffb673dfff, size=32, cache=kmalloc-32] allocated in:
+ test_alloc+0xf3/0x25b
+ test_use_after_free_read+0x76/0x143
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ freed in:
+ test_use_after_free_read+0xa8/0x143
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ CPU: 4 PID: 109 Comm: kunit_try_catch Tainted: G W 5.8.0-rc6+ #7
+ Hardware name: QEMU Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996), BIOS 1.13.0-1 04/01/2014
+ ==================================================================
+
+KFENCE also reports on invalid frees, such as double-frees::
+
+ ==================================================================
+ BUG: KFENCE: invalid free in test_double_free+0xdc/0x171
+
+ Invalid free of 0xffffffffb6741000:
+ test_double_free+0xdc/0x171
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ kfence-#26 [0xffffffffb6741000-0xffffffffb674101f, size=32, cache=kmalloc-32] allocated in:
+ test_alloc+0xf3/0x25b
+ test_double_free+0x76/0x171
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ freed in:
+ test_double_free+0xa8/0x171
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ CPU: 4 PID: 111 Comm: kunit_try_catch Tainted: G W 5.8.0-rc6+ #7
+ Hardware name: QEMU Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996), BIOS 1.13.0-1 04/01/2014
+ ==================================================================
+
+KFENCE also uses pattern-based redzones on the other side of an object's guard
+page, to detect out-of-bounds writes on the unprotected side of the object.
+These are reported on frees::
+
+ ==================================================================
+ BUG: KFENCE: memory corruption in test_kmalloc_aligned_oob_write+0xef/0x184
+
+ Corrupted memory at 0xffffffffb6797ff9 [ 0xac . . . . . . ] (in kfence-#69):
+ test_kmalloc_aligned_oob_write+0xef/0x184
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ kfence-#69 [0xffffffffb6797fb0-0xffffffffb6797ff8, size=73, cache=kmalloc-96] allocated in:
+ test_alloc+0xf3/0x25b
+ test_kmalloc_aligned_oob_write+0x57/0x184
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ CPU: 4 PID: 120 Comm: kunit_try_catch Tainted: G W 5.8.0-rc6+ #7
+ Hardware name: QEMU Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996), BIOS 1.13.0-1 04/01/2014
+ ==================================================================
+
+For such errors, the address where the corruption as well as the invalidly
+written bytes (offset from the address) are shown; in this representation, '.'
+denote untouched bytes. In the example above ``0xac`` is the value written to
+the invalid address at offset 0, and the remaining '.' denote that no following
+bytes have been touched. Note that, real values are only shown for
+``CONFIG_DEBUG_KERNEL=y`` builds; to avoid information disclosure for non-debug
+builds, '!' is used instead to denote invalidly written bytes.
+
+And finally, KFENCE may also report on invalid accesses to any protected page
+where it was not possible to determine an associated object, e.g. if adjacent
+object pages had not yet been allocated::
+
+ ==================================================================
+ BUG: KFENCE: invalid access in test_invalid_access+0x26/0xe0
+
+ Invalid access at 0xffffffffb670b00a:
+ test_invalid_access+0x26/0xe0
+ kunit_try_run_case+0x51/0x85
+ kunit_generic_run_threadfn_adapter+0x16/0x30
+ kthread+0x137/0x160
+ ret_from_fork+0x22/0x30
+
+ CPU: 4 PID: 124 Comm: kunit_try_catch Tainted: G W 5.8.0-rc6+ #7
+ Hardware name: QEMU Standard PC (i440FX + PIIX, 1996), BIOS 1.13.0-1 04/01/2014
+ ==================================================================
+
+DebugFS interface
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+Some debugging information is exposed via debugfs:
+
+* The file ``/sys/kernel/debug/kfence/stats`` provides runtime statistics.
+
+* The file ``/sys/kernel/debug/kfence/objects`` provides a list of objects
+ allocated via KFENCE, including those already freed but protected.
+
+Implementation Details
+----------------------
+
+Guarded allocations are set up based on the sample interval. After expiration
+of the sample interval, the next allocation through the main allocator (SLAB or
+SLUB) returns a guarded allocation from the KFENCE object pool (allocation
+sizes up to PAGE_SIZE are supported). At this point, the timer is reset, and
+the next allocation is set up after the expiration of the interval. To "gate" a
+KFENCE allocation through the main allocator's fast-path without overhead,
+KFENCE relies on static branches via the static keys infrastructure. The static
+branch is toggled to redirect the allocation to KFENCE.
+
+KFENCE objects each reside on a dedicated page, at either the left or right
+page boundaries selected at random. The pages to the left and right of the
+object page are "guard pages", whose attributes are changed to a protected
+state, and cause page faults on any attempted access. Such page faults are then
+intercepted by KFENCE, which handles the fault gracefully by reporting an
+out-of-bounds access.
+
+To detect out-of-bounds writes to memory within the object's page itself,
+KFENCE also uses pattern-based redzones. For each object page, a redzone is set
+up for all non-object memory. For typical alignments, the redzone is only
+required on the unguarded side of an object. Because KFENCE must honor the
+cache's requested alignment, special alignments may result in unprotected gaps
+on either side of an object, all of which are redzoned.
+
+The following figure illustrates the page layout::
+
+ ---+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+---
+ | xxxxxxxxx | O : | xxxxxxxxx | : O | xxxxxxxxx |
+ | xxxxxxxxx | B : | xxxxxxxxx | : B | xxxxxxxxx |
+ | x GUARD x | J : RED- | x GUARD x | RED- : J | x GUARD x |
+ | xxxxxxxxx | E : ZONE | xxxxxxxxx | ZONE : E | xxxxxxxxx |
+ | xxxxxxxxx | C : | xxxxxxxxx | : C | xxxxxxxxx |
+ | xxxxxxxxx | T : | xxxxxxxxx | : T | xxxxxxxxx |
+ ---+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+-----------+---
+
+Upon deallocation of a KFENCE object, the object's page is again protected and
+the object is marked as freed. Any further access to the object causes a fault
+and KFENCE reports a use-after-free access. Freed objects are inserted at the
+tail of KFENCE's freelist, so that the least recently freed objects are reused
+first, and the chances of detecting use-after-frees of recently freed objects
+is increased.
+
+Interface
+---------
+
+The following describes the functions which are used by allocators as well page
+handling code to set up and deal with KFENCE allocations.
+
+.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/kfence.h
+ :functions: is_kfence_address
+ kfence_shutdown_cache
+ kfence_alloc kfence_free
+ kfence_ksize kfence_object_start
+ kfence_handle_page_fault
+
+Related Tools
+-------------
+
+In userspace, a similar approach is taken by `GWP-ASan
+<http://llvm.org/docs/GwpAsan.html>`_. GWP-ASan also relies on guard pages and
+a sampling strategy to detect memory unsafety bugs at scale. KFENCE's design is
+directly influenced by GWP-ASan, and can be seen as its kernel sibling. Another
+similar but non-sampling approach, that also inspired the name "KFENCE", can be
+found in the userspace `Electric Fence Malloc Debugger
+<https://linux.die.net/man/3/efence>`_.
+
+In the kernel, several tools exist to debug memory access errors, and in
+particular KASAN can detect all bug classes that KFENCE can detect. While KASAN
+is more precise, relying on compiler instrumentation, this comes at a
+performance cost.
+
+It is worth highlighting that KASAN and KFENCE are complementary, with
+different target environments. For instance, KASAN is the better debugging-aid,
+where test cases or reproducers exists: due to the lower chance to detect the
+error, it would require more effort using KFENCE to debug. Deployments at scale
+that cannot afford to enable KASAN, however, would benefit from using KFENCE to
+discover bugs due to code paths not exercised by test cases or fuzzers.
--
2.28.0.618.gf4bc123cb7-goog
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