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SubjectRe: Linux 4.9.256
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On 2/8/21 8:57 PM, Sasha Levin wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 08, 2021 at 05:50:21PM +0200, Avi Kivity wrote:
>> On 05/02/2021 16.26, Greg Kroah-Hartman wrote:
>>> I'm announcing the release of the 4.9.256 kernel.
>>>
>>> This, and the 4.4.256 release are a little bit "different" than normal.
>>>
>>> This contains only 1 patch, just the version bump from .255 to .256
>>> which ends
>>> up causing the userspace-visable LINUX_VERSION_CODE to behave a bit
>>> differently
>>> than normal due to the "overflow".
>>>
>>> With this release, KERNEL_VERSION(4, 9, 256) is the same as
>>> KERNEL_VERSION(4, 10, 0).
>>
>>
>> I think this is a bad idea. Many kernel features can only be
>> discovered by checking the kernel version. If a feature was
>> introduced in 4.10, then an application can be tricked into thinking
>> a 4.9 kernel has it.
>>
>>
>> IMO, better to stop LINUX_VERSION_CODE at 255 and introduce a
>
> In the upstream (and new -stable fix) we did this part.
>
>> LINUX_VERSION_CODE_IMPROVED that has more bits for patchlevel.
>
> Do you have a usecase where it's actually needed? i.e. userspace that
> checks for -stable patchlevels?
>

Not stable patchlevels, but minors. So a change from 4.9 to 4.10 could
be harmful.


I have two such examples (not on the 4.9->4.10 boundary), but they test
the runtime version from uname(), not LINUX_VERSION_CODE, so they would
be vulnerable to such a change.


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