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bug#28211: Stack marking issue in multi-threaded code, 2020 edition

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: bug#28211: Stack marking issue in multi-threaded code, 2020 edition
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2020 22:59:11 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)


I think I’ve found another race condition involving stack marking, as a
followup to <https://issues.guix.gnu.org/issue/28211> (this time on
3.0.1+, but the code is almost the same.)

‘abort_to_prompt’ does this:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
  fp = vp->stack_top - fp_offset;
  sp = vp->stack_top - sp_offset;

  /* Continuation gets nargs+1 values: the one more is for the cont.  */
  sp = sp - nargs - 1;

  /* Shuffle abort arguments down to the prompt continuation.  We have
     to be jumping to an older part of the stack.  */
  if (sp < vp->sp)
    abort ();
  sp[nargs].as_scm = cont;
  while (nargs--)
    sp[nargs] = vp->sp[nargs];

  /* Restore VM regs */
  vp->fp = fp;
  vp->sp = sp;
  vp->ip = vra;
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

What if ‘scm_i_vm_mark_stack’ walks the stack right before the ‘vp->fp’
assignment?  It can determine that one of the just-assigned ‘sp[nargs]’
is a dead slot, and thus set it to SCM_UNSPECIFIED.  Later, when we set
‘vp->fp’, that stack slot that we just initialized has been overwritten
by ‘scm_i_vm_mark_stack’.  Down the road, we get something like:

  Wrong type to apply: #<unspecified>

I believe this is what I’m seeing here (0x7ff7f838dda0 is being set to
SCM_UNSPECIFIED while thread 2 is in ‘abort_to_prompt’):

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
(rr) thread 5
[Switching to thread 5 (Thread 24572.24575)]
#0  scm_i_vm_mark_stack (vp=0x7ff7fd820b48, mark_stack_ptr=0x7ff7fc0ebf90, 
    mark_stack_limit=0x7ff7fc0fbec0) at vm.c:743
743                   break;
(rr) list
738                   break;
739                 case SLOT_DESC_DEAD:
740                   /* This value may become dead as a result of GC,
741                      so we can't just leave it on the stack.  */
742                   sp->as_scm = SCM_UNSPECIFIED;
743                   break;
744                 }
745             }
746           sp = SCM_FRAME_PREVIOUS_SP (fp);
747           /* Inner frames may have a dead slots map for precise marking.
(rr) p sp->as_scm
$59 = #<unspecified>
(rr) p sp
$60 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838dda0
(rr) thread 2
[Switching to thread 2 (Thread 24572.24577)]
#0  0x00007ff7fdb7bb36 in __GI___sigsuspend (
    set=set@entry=0x7ff7fe132720 <suspend_handler_mask>)
    at ../sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/sigsuspend.c:26
26      ../sysdeps/unix/sysv/linux/sigsuspend.c: Dosiero aŭ dosierujo ne 
(rr) frame 4
#4  0x00007ff7fe228f14 in abort_to_prompt (thread=0x7ff7fd820b40, 
    saved_mra=<optimized out>) at vm.c:1465
1465        sp[nargs] = vp->sp[nargs];
(rr) p sp
$61 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838dd90
(rr) p fp
$62 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838ddb0
(rr) p &sp[2]
$63 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838dda0
(rr) p vp->sp
$64 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838dcf0
(rr) p vp->fp
$65 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838dd08
(rr) p vp->stack_bottom
$66 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838a000
(rr) p vp->stack_top
$67 = (union scm_vm_stack_element *) 0x7ff7f838e000
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Comments about this analysis?

How do we fix it?  It’s a bit troubling that this is all lock-free.  A
fix I can think of is to just re-do the sp[nargs] assignments after the
vp->sp etc. assignments.



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