[PATCH urgent v2] x86, asm: Disable opportunistic SYSRET if regs->flags has TF set

From: Andy Lutomirski
Date: Wed Apr 01 2015 - 17:26:45 EST

When I wrote the opportunistic SYSRET code, I missed an important
difference between SYSRET and IRET. Both instructions are capable
of setting EFLAGS.TF, but they behave differently when doing so.
IRET will not issue a #DB trap after execution when it sets TF This
is critical -- otherwise you'd never be able to make forward
progress when returning to userspace. SYSRET, on the other hand,
will trap with #DB immediately after returning to CPL3, and the next
instruction will never execute.

This breaks anything that opportunistically SYSRETs to a user
context with TF set. For example, running this code with TF set and
a SIGTRAP handler loaded never gets past post_nop.

extern unsigned char post_nop[];
asm volatile ("pushfq\n\t"
"popq %%r11\n\t"
: : "c" (post_nop) : "r11");

In my defense, I can't find this documented in the AMD or Intel

Fix it by using IRET to restore TF.

Fixes: 2a23c6b8a9c4 x86_64, entry: Use sysret to return to userspace when possible
Signed-off-by: Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxx>

This affects 4.0-rc as well as -tip. A full test case lives here:


It's called single_step_syscall_64.

On Intel systems, the 32-bit version of that test fails for unrelated
reasons, but that's not a regression, and fixing it will be much more

Changes from v1:
- Remove mention of testl from changelog.
- Improve comment per Denys' suggestion.

arch/x86/kernel/entry_64.S | 16 +++++++++++++++-
1 file changed, 15 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/arch/x86/kernel/entry_64.S b/arch/x86/kernel/entry_64.S
index 750c6efcb718..537716380959 100644
--- a/arch/x86/kernel/entry_64.S
+++ b/arch/x86/kernel/entry_64.S
@@ -715,7 +715,21 @@ retint_swapgs: /* return to user-space */
cmpq %r11,EFLAGS(%rsp) /* R11 == RFLAGS */
jne opportunistic_sysret_failed

- testq $X86_EFLAGS_RF,%r11 /* sysret can't restore RF */
+ /*
+ * SYSRET can't restore RF. SYSRET can restore TF, but unlike IRET,
+ * restoring TF results in a trap from userspace immediately after
+ * SYSRET. This would cause an infinite loop whenever #DB happens
+ * with register state that satisfies the opportunistic SYSRET
+ * conditions. For example, single-stepping this user code:
+ *
+ * movq $stuck_here,%rcx
+ * pushfq
+ * popq %r11
+ * stuck_here:
+ *
+ * would never get past stuck_here.
+ */
+ testq $(X86_EFLAGS_RF|X86_EFLAGS_TF),%r11
jnz opportunistic_sysret_failed

/* nothing to check for RSP */

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
Please read the FAQ at http://www.tux.org/lkml/