Re: [PATCH] mtd: cfi: convert inline functions to macros

From: Arnd Bergmann
Date: Mon Dec 18 2017 - 05:29:14 EST

On Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 10:18 AM, Marek Vasut <marek.vasut@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 12/18/2017 10:16 AM, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
>> On Sun, Dec 17, 2017 at 9:34 PM, Richard Weinberger <richard@xxxxxx> wrote:
>>> Am Mittwoch, 11. Oktober 2017, 15:54:10 CET schrieb Arnd Bergmann:
>>>> The map_word_() functions, dating back to linux-2.6.8, try to perform
>>>> bitwise operations on a 'map_word' structure. This may have worked
>>>> with compilers that were current then (gcc-3.4 or earlier), but end
>>>> up being rather inefficient on any version I could try now (gcc-4.4 or
>>>> higher). Specifically we hit a problem analyzed in gcc PR81715 where we
>>>> fail to reuse the stack space for local variables.
>>>> With the latest gcc-8 snapshot, the problem is fixed in upstream gcc,
>>>> but nobody uses that yet, so we should still work around it in mainline
>>>> kernels and probably backport the workaround to stable kernels as well.
>>>> We had a couple of other functions that suffered from the same gcc bug,
>>>> and all of those had a simpler workaround involving dummy variables
>>>> in the inline function. Unfortunately that did not work here, the
>>>> macro hack was the best I could come up with.
>>>> It would also be helpful to have someone to a little performance testing
>>>> on the patch, to see how much it helps in terms of CPU utilitzation.
>>>> Link:
>>>> Cc: stable@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> Signed-off-by: Arnd Bergmann <arnd@xxxxxxxx>
>>> Acked-by: Richard Weinberger <richard@xxxxxx>
>> Thanks!
>>> Marek, I know you are not super happy with this patch but IMHO this is the
>>> solution with the least hassle.
>>> While functions offer better type checking I think this functions are trivial
>>> enough to exist as macros too.
>>> Also forcing users to upgrade/fix their compilers is only possible in a
>>> perfect world.
>> Right. To clarify, this is a potential security issue, as it might be used to
>> construct a stack overflow to cause privilege escalation when combined
>> with some other vulnerabilities. I'd definitely want this backported to
>> stable kernels as a precaution, and I'm preparing a patch to warn
>> about this kind of problem again in 'allmodconfig' kernels that
>> currently disable the warning on arm64 and x86.
> Wouldn't it make more sense to fix the compiler instead ?
> This still feels like we're fixing a bug at the wrong place ...

See above: the compiler is fixed in the gcc-8.x release branch,
which won't be out until next spring. People use all kinds of versions
as old as gcc-4.3, even if the fix was backported to older compilers
(which it is not), most users never rebuild their toolchains to get the
latest bugfix releases.

For instance, the Android SDK comes with prebuilt binaries of
a gcc-4.9-prerelease version that has many known bugs that
were fixed either by the time the official 4.9 release happened,
or in one of the bugfix releases following it.