Re: [PATCH] namei: get rid of unused filename_parentat()

From: Stephen Brennan
Date: Wed Sep 01 2021 - 12:20:12 EST

On 9/1/21 8:35 AM, Al Viro wrote:
On Wed, Sep 01, 2021 at 03:30:56PM +0000, Al Viro wrote:
On Wed, Sep 01, 2021 at 10:00:40PM +0700, Dmitry Kadashev wrote:
After the switch of kern_path_locked() to __filename_parentat() (to
address use after free bug) nothing is using filename_parentat(). Also,
filename_parentat() is inherently buggy: the "last" output arg
always point to freed memory.

Drop filename_parentat() and rename __filename_parentat() to

I'd rather fold that into previous patch.

And it might be better to fold filename_create() into its 2 callers
and rename __filename_create() as well.

Let me poke around a bit...

BTW, if you look at the only caller of filename_lookup() outside of
fs/namei.c, you'll see this:
f->refcnt++; /* filename_lookup() drops our ref. */
ret = filename_lookup(param->dirfd, f, flags, _path, NULL);
IOW, that thing would be better off with calling the current

Might be better to rename filename_lookup to something different,
turn __filename_lookup() into filename_lookup() and use _that_ in

The value of Dimitry's original patch was that the calling convention (i.e. whether the function calls putname for you) is clear from the name of the function: __filename_lookup doesn't call putname, and filename_lookup() does.

I think what we're discovering is that maybe the double-underscore version isn't all that useful, and can be quite confusing (leading to refcount increments like we see here). It's highly unusual for a function that's not explicitly a destructor of some kind to drop a reference that was passed into it.

Could we just standardize all of these filename_xxx() methods to leave the filename reference alone? I see the following uses:

filename_create(): 2 users in fs/namei.c, trivial to change
filename_lookup(): 3 users in fs/namei.c, also trivial
filename_parentat(): only user was fixed in my earlier patch

The cost in each function is two additional lines, in return for some clarity about the calling conventions, rather than creating more confusion.