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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 01/11] counters: Introduce counter and counter_atomic
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On 9/23/20 1:04 PM, Kees Cook wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 07:43:30PM -0600, Shuah Khan wrote:
>> Introduce Simple atomic and non-atomic counters.
>>
>> There are a number of atomic_t usages in the kernel where atomic_t api
>> is used strictly for counting and not for managing object lifetime. In
>> some cases, atomic_t might not even be needed.
>
> Thank you for working on a counter API! I'm glad to see work here,
> though I have some pretty significant changes to request; see below...
>

Thanks for the review.

>>
>> The purpose of these counters is twofold: 1. clearly differentiate
>> atomic_t counters from atomic_t usages that guard object lifetimes,
>> hence prone to overflow and underflow errors. It allows tools that scan
>> for underflow and overflow on atomic_t usages to detect overflow and
>> underflows to scan just the cases that are prone to errors. 2. provides
>> non-atomic counters for cases where atomic isn't necessary.
>>
>> Simple atomic and non-atomic counters api provides interfaces for simple
>> atomic and non-atomic counters that just count, and don't guard resource
>> lifetimes. Counters will wrap around to 0 when it overflows and should
>> not be used to guard resource lifetimes, device usage and open counts
>> that control state changes, and pm states.
>>
>> Using counter_atomic to guard lifetimes could lead to use-after free
>> when it overflows and undefined behavior when used to manage state
>> changes and device usage/open states.
>>
>> Signed-off-by: Shuah Khan <skhan@linuxfoundation.org>
>
> I would really like these APIs to be _impossible_ to use for object
> lifetime management. To that end, I would like to have all of the
> *_return() functions removed. It should be strictly init, inc, dec,
> read.
>

Yes. I am with you on making this API as small as possible so it won't
be used for lifetime mgmt. That means no support for:

*_test, add_negative etc.

I started out with just init, inc, dec, read. As I started looking
for candidates that can be converted to counters, I found inc_return()
usages. I think we need inc_return() for sure. I haven't come across
atomic_dec_return() yet.

I would say we will need at least inc_return() for being able to convert
all counter atomic_t usages.

>> +There are a number of atomic_t usages in the kernel where atomic_t api
>> +is used strictly for counting and not for managing object lifetime. In
>> +some cases, atomic_t might not even be needed.
>
> Why even force the distinction? I think all the counters should be
> atomic and then there is no chance they will get accidentally used in
> places where someone *thinks* it's safe to use a non-atomic. So,
> "_atomic" can be removed from the name and the non-atomic implementation
> can get removed. Anyone already using non-atomic counters is just using
> "int" and "long" anyway. Let's please only create APIs that are always
> safe to use, and provide some benefit over a native time.
>

I am with Greg on this. I think we will find several atomic_t usages
that don't need atomicity.

>> +Simple atomic and non-atomic counters api provides interfaces for simple
>> +atomic and non-atomic counters that just count, and don't guard resource
>> +lifetimes. Counters will wrap around to 0 when it overflows and should
>> +not be used to guard resource lifetimes, device usage and open counts
>> +that control state changes, and pm states.
>> +
>> +Using counter_atomic to guard lifetimes could lead to use-after free
>> +when it overflows and undefined behavior when used to manage state
>> +changes and device usage/open states.
>> +
>> +Use refcnt_t interfaces for guarding resources.
> > typo: refcount_t (this typo is repeated in a few places)
>

Thanks for the catch. Will fit it.

>> +
>> +.. warning::
>> + Counter will wrap around to 0 when it overflows.
>> + Should not be used to guard resource lifetimes.
>> + Should not be used to manage device state and pm state.
>> +
>> +Test Counters Module and selftest
>> +---------------------------------
>> +
>> +Please see :ref:`lib/test_counters.c <Test Counters Module>` for how to
>> +use these interfaces and also test them.
>> +
>> +Selftest for testing:
>> +:ref:`testing/selftests/lib/test_counters.sh <selftest for counters>`
>> +
>> +Atomic counter interfaces
>> +=========================
>> +
>> +counter_atomic and counter_atomic_long types use atomic_t and atomic_long_t
>> +underneath to leverage atomic_t api, providing a small subset of atomic_t
>> +interfaces necessary to support simple counters. ::
>> +
>> + struct counter_atomic { atomic_t cnt; };
>> + struct counter_atomic_long { atomic_long_t cnt; };
>
> "Unsized" and "Long" are both unhelpful here. If it's unsized, that
> tells nothing about the counter size. And "long" changes with word size.
> I think counters should either _all_ be 64-bit, or they should be
> explicitly sized in their name. Either:
>
> struct counter; /* unsigned 64-bit, wraps back around to 0 */
>
> or
>
> struct counter32; /* unsigned 32-bit, wraps back around to 0 */
> struct counter64; /* unsigned 64-bit, wraps back around to 0 */
>

Will do.

>> --- /dev/null
>> +++ b/lib/test_counters.c
>> @@ -0,0 +1,283 @@
>> +// SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0-only
>> +/*
>> + * Kernel module for testing Counters
>> + *
>> + * Authors:
>> + * Shuah Khan <skhan@linuxfoundation.org>
>> + */
>> +
>> +#define pr_fmt(fmt) KBUILD_MODNAME ": " fmt
>> +
>> +#include <linux/module.h>
>> +#include <linux/counters.h>
>> +
>> +void test_counter_atomic(void)
>> +{
>> + static struct counter_atomic acnt = COUNTER_ATOMIC_INIT(0);
>> + int start_val = counter_atomic_read(&acnt);
>> + int end_val;
>
> Please build this test using KUnit.
>

Sounds good.

>> + start_val = counter_long_read(&acnt);
>> + end_val = counter_long_dec_return(&acnt);
>> + pr_info("Test read decrement and return: %ld to %ld - %s\n",
>> + start_val, end_val,
>> + ((start_val-1 == end_val) ? "PASS" : "FAIL"));
>
> I also see a lot of copy/paste patterns here. These should all use a
> common helper.

I knew you would ask for helpers. :)

Yeah will do.

thanks,
-- Shuah

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