Re: [PATCH] timekeeping: Change type of nsec variable to unsigned in its calculation.

From: Thomas Gleixner
Date: Tue Nov 29 2016 - 09:25:27 EST

On Fri, 18 Nov 2016, John Stultz wrote:
> From: Liav Rehana <liavr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> During the calculation of the nsec variable in the inline function
> timekeeping_delta_to_ns, it may undergo a sign extension if its msb
> is set just before the shift. The sign extension may, in some cases,
> gain it a value near the maximum value of the 64-bit range. This is
> bad when it is later used in a division function, such as
> __iter_div_u64_rem, where the amount of loops it will go through to
> calculate the division will be too large. One can encounter such a
> problem, for example, when trying to connect through ftp from an
> outside host to the operation system. When the OS is too overloaded,
> delta will get a high enough value for the msb of the sum
> delta * tkr->mult + tkr->xtime_nsec to be set, and so after the
> shift the nsec variable will gain a value similar to
> 0xffffffffff000000. Using a variable with such a value in the
> inline function __iter_div_u64_rem will take too long, making the
> ftp connection attempt seem to get stuck.
> The following commit fixes that chance of sign extension, while
> maintaining the type of the nsec variable as signed for other
> functions that use this variable, for possible legit negative
> time intervals.
> Thomas/Ingo: This is for tip:timers/urgent.

Certainly not! My objections against this still stand. See:

If we have legitimate use cases with a negative delta, then this patch
breaks them no matter what. See the basic C course section in the second