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SubjectRe: [PATCH 00/13] [RFC] Rust support
On Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 11:46 AM <ojeda@kernel.org> wrote:
>
> Some of you have noticed the past few weeks and months that
> a serious attempt to bring a second language to the kernel was
> being forged. We are finally here, with an RFC that adds support
> for Rust to the Linux kernel.

So I replied with my reactions to a couple of the individual patches,
but on the whole I don't hate it.

HOWEVER.

I do think that the "run-time failure panic" is a fundamental issue.

I may not understand the ramifications of when it can happen, so maybe
it's less of an issue than I think it is, but very fundamentally I
think that if some Rust allocation can cause a panic, this is simply
_fundamentally_ not acceptable.

Allocation failures in a driver or non-core code - and that is by
definition all of any new Rust code - can never EVER validly cause
panics. Same goes for "oh, some case I didn't test used 128-bit
integers or floating point".

So if the Rust compiler causes hidden allocations that cannot be
caught and returned as errors, then I seriously think that this whole
approach needs to be entirely NAK'ed, and the Rust infrastructure -
whether at the compiler level or in the kernel wrappers - needs more
work.

So if the panic was just some placeholder for things that _can_ be
caught, then I think that catching code absolutely needs to be
written, and not left as a to-do.

And if the panic situation is some fundamental "this is what the Rust
compiler does for internal allocation failures", then I think it needs
more than just kernel wrapper work - it needs the Rust compiler to be
*fixed*.

Because kernel code is different from random user-space system tools.
Running out of memory simply MUST NOT cause an abort. It needs to
just result in an error return.

I don't know enough about how the out-of-memory situations would be
triggered and caught to actually know whether this is a fundamental
problem or not, so my reaction comes from ignorance, but basically the
rule has to be that there are absolutely zero run-time "panic()"
calls. Unsafe code has to either be caught at compile time, or it has
to be handled dynamically as just a regular error.

With the main point of Rust being safety, there is no way I will ever
accept "panic dynamically" (whether due to out-of-memory or due to
anything else - I also reacted to the "floating point use causes
dynamic panics") as a feature in the Rust model.

Linus

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