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Subjectpt_regs->ax == -ENOSYS
Date
Trying to stomp out some possible cargo cult programming?

In the process of going through the various entry code paths, I have to
admit to being a bit confused why pt_regs->ax is set to -ENOSYS very
early in the system call path.

What is perhaps even more confusing is:

__visible noinstr void do_syscall_64(struct pt_regs *regs, unsigned long nr)
{
nr = syscall_enter_from_user_mode(regs, nr);

instrumentation_begin();
if (likely(nr < NR_syscalls)) {
nr = array_index_nospec(nr, NR_syscalls);
regs->ax = sys_call_table[nr](regs);
#ifdef CONFIG_X86_X32_ABI
} else if (likely((nr & __X32_SYSCALL_BIT) &&
(nr & ~__X32_SYSCALL_BIT) < X32_NR_syscalls)) {
nr = array_index_nospec(nr & ~__X32_SYSCALL_BIT,
X32_NR_syscalls);
regs->ax = x32_sys_call_table[nr](regs);
#endif
}
instrumentation_end();
syscall_exit_to_user_mode(regs);
}
#endif

Now, unless I'm completely out to sea, it seems to me that if
syscall_enter_from_user_mode() changes the system call number to an
invalid number and pt_regs->ax to !-ENOSYS then the system call will
return a different value(!) depending on if it is out of range for the
table (whatever was poked into pt_regs->ax) or if it corresponds to a
hole in the table. This seems to me at least to be The Wrong Thing.

Calling regs->ax = sys_ni_syscall() in an else clause would arguably be
the right thing here, except possibly in the case where nr (or (int)nr,
see below) == -1 or < 0.

Now, syscall_get_nr() returns the low 32 bits of the system call number
unconditionally. There are places where we look at the sign of this
number, which means that 0xffffffff7fffffff is "positive" and
0x7fffffffffffffff is "negative". We have gone back and forth more than
once on if we should look at %rax or just %eax on a system call... I
have to admit that the current design makes me a bit nervous.

Finally, can anything bad happen in some weird corner case inside one of
the syscall_*_mode() calls or after an interrupt if someone tries to
call syscall(-1) or another negative number?

Food for thought or just my not being up to date?

Thanks,

-hpa

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