Re: [PATCH] timerfd: Protect the might cancel mechanism proper

From: Dmitry Vyukov
Date: Fri Feb 10 2017 - 05:27:45 EST

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 11:13 AM, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Dmitry,
> On Thu, 2 Feb 2017, Dmitry Vyukov wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 7:54 PM, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > On Wed, 1 Feb 2017, Dmitry Vyukov wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Can't we still end up with an inconsistently setup timer?
>> >> do_timerfd_settime executes timerfd_setup_cancel and timerfd_setup as
>> >> two separate non-atomic actions. So if there are 2 concurrent
>> >> timerfd_settime calls, one that needs cancel and another that does not
>> >> need cancel, can't we end up with inconsistent setup? E.g. setup timer
>> >> that needs cancel, but it won't be in cancel_list. Or vice versa.
>> >
>> > Do we really care? If an application arms the timer with cancel in one
>> > thread and the same timer without cancel in another thread, then it's
>> > probably completely irrelevant whether the state pair timeout/cancel is
>> > correct or not. That's clearly an application bug and I don't want to add
>> > more locking just to make something which is broken by definition pseudo
>> > 'atomic'.
>> I agree that the program is bogus, and don't have to ensure any sane
>> behavior for it. But I am concerned about potential kernel corruptions
>> due to this. For example, maybe kernel code will decide to not remove
>> such timer from the cancel list on destruction because based on
>> clockid/flags it should not be in the cancel list, but the timer is
>> actually there and we will end up with a leak or a dangling pointer. I
>> did not check that this actually happens, such inconsistent state just
>> looks like a red flag for me.
> That can't happen.
> ctx->might_cancel and ctx->clist are always in sync with the new lock and
> that's the only interesting thing. On destruction we don't look at clockid
> or such, we only care about might_cancel.
> What is not guaranteed to be in sync is the timer expiry time and the
> cancel stuff, if two threads operate on the same timerfd in
> parallel. That's what I do not care about at all.

Ack. Thanks for looking at it bearing with me. Then:

Acked-by: Dmitry Vyukov <dvyukov@xxxxxxxxxx>