[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[bug#43591] [PATCH core-updates] gnu: glibc-final: Catch all cases of a

From: Danny Milosavljevic
Subject: [bug#43591] [PATCH core-updates] gnu: glibc-final: Catch all cases of a glibc user not requesting 64-bit offsets and then using readdir.
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2020 09:18:05 +0200

Hi Ludo,

On Thu, 01 Oct 2020 09:14:10 +0200
Ludovic Courtès <> wrote:

> > This problem has nothing to do with emulation.  
> Now I’m lost; I thought this had to do with qemu-user.

I had thought so, too, a few weeks ago.  But that's not the case.

It's not at all related to qemu.

The problem is a fundamental problem: a 64 bit value does NOT fit into a 32 bit

glibc uses getdents64 to get 64 bit dents and then acts all surprised and
errory when it gets 64 bit dents. (also on 32 bit glibc)

The same happens natively when using armhf on aarch64, without qemu-user.
That's what the table I sent was all about.

Calling getdents64 is not the problem--glibc has to do that, otherwise a 32 bit
glibc won't work RELIABLY on a 64 bit kernel anyway.

And emitting an error it does because we do not enable large file support.

This table (updated after I finally compiled a guix gcc-toolchain-10 with the
(unpatched) glibc in question on armhf):

system   _FILE_OFFSET_BITS off_t   d_off-sizeof   d_off-values
x86_64   -                 8 Byte  8 Byte         8 Byte
i686     -                 4 Byte  4 Byte         4 Byte
i686     64                8 Byte  8 Byte         FAIL*
i686     32                4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL*
i686     7                 4 Byte  4 Byte         4 Byte
armhf    -                 4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL*
armhf    64                8 Byte  8 Byte         8 Byte
armhf    32                4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL*
armhf    7                 4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL*
a64armhf -                 4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL*
a64armhf 64                8 Byte  8 Byte         8 Byte
a64armhf 32                4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL*
a64armhf 7                 4 Byte  4 Byte         FAIL* 
aarch64  -                 8 Byte  8 Byte         8 Byte

*: Using FUSE filesystem with big d_off value.

None of those tests were done with qemu.  They were all native.

That's why I wanted access to real aarch64 machines--otherwise I could have
done it with qemu on my x86_64 computer :P

> I’m very reluctant to patching public libc headers.

Well, I don't like it either--that's why it's very very careful.  My patch
doesn't change anything that users experience at runtime and basically just
prevents developers from compiling something that is using readdir without
thinking about large files first (because they HAVE TO if their programs run
on a host kernel that has bigger d_off--there's no sane way around it).

If they absolutely want to, they can set _FILE_OFFSET_BITS=32 and it will
let them do it (the argument by Marius is that people might want to do that
on embedded.  But that means they'll sometimes have readdir fail--depending
on their setup (also on 32 bit kernels).  Embedded is not specially exempt
from ths bug ;) ).

I think that this patch is guix-specific in the sense that it happens
pretty often that we do "-s i686-linux" on x86_64, "-s armhf-linux" on
aarch64 and expect that to work.  And there's no qemu we could even patch in
those cases, because no qemu is used in the first place.

>  Also, it’s not just
> “our” problem, we should definitely discuss it with upstream and perhaps
> propose your dirent.h patch.

Sure.  I think 15 years of migration path to 64 bit off_t was more than enough.

Now, I'd prefer if glibc made people choose _FILE_OFFSET_BITS explicitly on
32 bit.  Everything else is a hack that WILL break unexpectedly.  Users still
can choose _FILE_OFFSET_BITS=32, if they want.

> I’m also not sure what you mean by “using it wrong”, what is “it”?

"it" is users calling readdir() without defining _FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 in their
source file / Makefile.
This causes glibc to call getdents64 and then act all surprised when it gets
a 64 bit result back.

> > Also, this won't work on armhf or any other 32 bit architecture--so there,
> > we would be both philosophically and practically wrong.
> >
> > Also, the "not telling us the truth for d_off on i686" is a leaky compat 
> > layer.
> > It totally DOES wind up telling us the truth sometimes (see my earlier test
> > table)--and then we have a problem.  
> Hmm I guess I need to re-read all that, I’m overwhelmed.

Yeah--it's understandable.  I'm working on understanding and fixing this problem
for a hundred hours now--it took forever for me to get to the bottom of this,

And in the beginning I, too, suspected qemu.  But it's totally blameless.
Nothing should be changed in qemu-user or in our qemu binfmt service.

The fundamental problem is that POSIX specifies that telldir and seekdir must
exist, and return and take a LONG, respectively.

That means that glibc has to preserve d_off it got from getdents64 (size is
64 bits), otherwise how would seekdir work?

But the offset parameter of seekdir is standardized as LONG, which means that it
won't work in the first place on 32 bit when there is either a 64 bit kernel or
a filesystem that just happens to store bigger stuff.

So glibc chose to check whether the getdents64 d_off just happens to fit into
the LONG this time around it was called.  I argue that that is insane.  It
would be better to always fail, or never fail--not only fail on the first d_off
that is > 2**32.  When that happens is a filesystem implementation detail :P

I think the assumption was that the kernel would store an actual offset into
d_off.  But it doesn't--it stores a hash in the case of ext4 (and probably
in other cases).

And in any case, even if it was an offset, that is still an unsafe way to fix
the problem.

First, someone needs to fix the POSIX standard to say "off_t", not "long".

Then, distributions who want to use 32 bit userland on 64 bit kernel need
to enable large files globally.  That is a choice a distribution has to make.

Not making a choice is a choice too--the behavior will be random, and if
my research in wip-file-offset-bits-64 is any indication then very
fundamental things will be broken at unexpected places, and usually it DOES
NOT result in a build failure (without my glibc patch).  That basically
means that using 32 bit native on 64 bit kernel cannot be supported in Guix
if no choice is made.

If choice "yes" is made, one needs to have a way to find these
non-build-breaking using-readdir-wrong packages.  How would an alternative
way to do this look?

Attachment: pgpfj9Y2LVuTk.pgp
Description: OpenPGP digital signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]