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the specification for execvp itself is unclear as to whether
encountering a file that cannot be executed due to EACCES during the
PATH search is a mandatory error condition; however, XBD 8.3's
specification of the PATH environment variable clarifies that the
search continues until a file with "appropriate execution permissions"
since it seems undesirable/erroneous to report ENOENT rather than
EACCES when an early path element has a non-executable file and all
later path elements lack any file by the requested name, the new code
stores a flag indicating that EACCES was seen and sets errno back to
EACCES in this case.
the write function is a cancellation point and accesses thread-local
state belonging to the calling thread in the parent process. since
cancellation is blocked for the duration of posix_spawn, this is
probably safe, but it's fragile and unnecessary. making the syscall
directly is just as easy and clearly safe.
the resolution of austin group issue #370 removes the requirement that
posix_spawn fail when the close file action is performed on an
already-closed fd. since there are no other meaningful errors for
close, just ignoring the return value completely is the simplest fix.
the main motivation for this change is to remove the assumption that
the tid of the main thread is also the pid of the process. (the value
returned by the set_tid_address syscall was used to fill both fields
despite it semantically being the tid.) this is historically and
presently true on linux and unlikely to change, but it conceivably
could be false on other systems that otherwise reproduce the linux
only a few parts of the code were actually still using the cached pid.
in a couple places (aio and synccall) it was a minor optimization to
avoid a syscall. caching could be reintroduced, but lazily as part of
the public getpid function rather than at program startup, if it's
deemed important for performance later. in other places (cancellation
and pthread_kill) the pid was completely unnecessary; the tkill
syscall can be used instead of tgkill. this is actually a rather
subtle issue, since tgkill is supposedly a solution to race conditions
that can affect use of tkill. however, as documented in the commit
message for commit 7779dbd2663269b465951189b4f43e70839bc073, tgkill
does not actually solve this race; it just limits it to happening
within one process rather than between processes. we use a lock that
avoids the race in pthread_kill, and the use in the cancellation
signal handler is self-targeted and thus not subject to tid reuse
races, so both are safe regardless of which syscall (tgkill or tkill)
such archs are expected to omit definitions of the SYS_* macros for
syscalls their kernels lack from arch/$ARCH/bits/syscall.h. the
preprocessor is then able to select the an appropriate implementation
for affected functions. two basic strategies are used on a
where the old syscalls correspond to deprecated library-level
functions, the deprecated functions have been converted to wrappers
for the modern function, and the modern function has fallback code
(omitted at the preprocessor level on new archs) to make use of the
old syscalls if the new syscall fails with ENOSYS. this also improves
functionality on older kernels and eliminates the incentive to program
with deprecated library-level functions for the sake of compatibility
with older kernels.
in other situations where the old syscalls correspond to library-level
functions which are not deprecated but merely lack some new features,
such as the *at functions, the old syscalls are still used on archs
which support them. this may change at some point in the future if or
when fallback code is added to the new functions to make them usable
(possibly with reduced functionality) on old kernels.
open is handled specially because it is used from so many places, in
so many variants (2 or 3 arguments, setting errno or not, and
cancellable or not). trying to do it as a function would not only
increase bloat, but would also risk subtle breakage.
this is the first step towards supporting "new" archs where linux
lacks "old" syscalls.
this is the first step in an overhaul aimed at greatly simplifying and
optimizing everything dealing with thread-local state.
previously, the thread pointer was initialized lazily on first access,
or at program startup if stack protector was in use, or at certain
random places where inconsistent state could be reached if it were not
initialized early. while believed to be fully correct, the logic was
fragile and non-obvious.
in the first phase of the thread pointer overhaul, support is retained
(and in some cases improved) for systems/situation where loading the
thread pointer fails, e.g. old kernels.
some notes on specific changes:
- the confusing use of libc.main_thread as an indicator that the
thread pointer is initialized is eliminated in favor of an explicit
- sigaction no longer needs to ensure that the thread pointer is
initialized before installing a signal handler (this was needed to
prevent a situation where the signal handler caused the thread
pointer to be initialized and the subsequent sigreturn cleared it
again) but it still needs to ensure that implementation-internal
thread-related signals are not blocked.
- pthread tsd initialization for the main thread is deferred in a new
manner to minimize bloat in the static-linked __init_tp code.
- pthread_setcancelstate no longer needs special handling for the
situation before the thread pointer is initialized. it simply fails
on systems that cannot support a thread pointer, which are
- pthread_cleanup_push/pop now check for missing thread pointer and
nop themselves out in this case, so stdio no longer needs to avoid
the cancellable path when the thread pointer is not available.
a number of cases remain where certain interfaces may crash if the
system does not support a thread pointer. at this point, these should
be limited to pthread interfaces, and the number of such cases should
be fewer than before.
this is a requirement in the specification that was overlooked.
the va_arg call for the argv-terminating null pointer was missing,
so this pointer was being wrongly used as the environment pointer.
issue reported by Timo Teräs. proposed patch slightly modified to
simplify the resulting code.
the trick here is that sigaction can track for us which signals have
ever had a signal handler set for them, and only those signals need to
be considered for reset. this tracking mask may have false positives,
since it is impossible to remove bits from it without race conditions.
false negatives are not possible since the mask is updated with atomic
operations prior to making the sigaction syscall.
implementation-internal signals are set to SIG_IGN rather than SIG_DFL
so that a signal raised in the parent (e.g. calling pthread_cancel on
the thread executing pthread_spawn) does not have any chance make it
to the child, where it would cause spurious termination by signal.
this change reduces the minimum/typical number of syscalls in the
child from around 70 to 4 (including execve). this should greatly
improve the performance of posix_spawn and other interfaces which use
it (popen and system).
to facilitate these changes, sigismember is also changed to return 0
rather than -1 for invalid signals, and to return the actual status of
implementation-internal signals. POSIX allows but does not require an
error on invalid signal numbers, and in fact returning an error tends
to confuse applications which wrongly assume the return value of
sigismember is boolean.
failures prior to the exec attempt were reported correctly, but on
exec failure, the return value contained junk.
there are several reasons for this. some of them are related to race
conditions that arise since fork is required to be async-signal-safe:
if fork or pthread_create is called from a signal handler after the
fork syscall has returned but before the subsequent userspace code has
finished, inconsistent state could result. also, there seem to be
kernel and/or strace bugs related to arrival of signals during fork,
at least on some versions, and simply blocking signals eliminates the
possibility of such bugs.
I intend to add more Linux workarounds that depend on using these
pathnames, and some of them will be in "syscall" functions that, from
an anti-bloat standpoint, should not depend on the whole snprintf
this is both a minor scheduling optimization and a workaround for a
difficult-to-fix bug in qemu app-level emulation.
from the scheduling standpoint, it makes no sense to schedule the
parent thread again until the child has exec'd or exited, since the
parent will immediately block again waiting for it.
on the qemu side, as regular application code running on an underlying
libc, qemu cannot make arbitrary clone syscalls itself without
confusing the underlying implementation. instead, it breaks them down
into either fork-like or pthread_create-like cases. it was treating
the code in posix_spawn as pthread_create-like, due to CLONE_VM, which
caused horribly wrong behavior: CLONE_FILES broke the synchronization
mechanism, CLONE_SIGHAND broke the parent's signals, and CLONE_THREAD
caused the child's exec to end the parent -- if it hadn't already
crashed. however, qemu special-cases CLONE_VFORK and emulates that
with fork, even when CLONE_VM is also specified. this also gives
incorrect semantics for code that really needs the memory sharing, but
posix_spawn does not make use of the vm sharing except to avoid
momentary double commit charge.
programs using posix_spawn (including via popen) should now work
correctly under qemu app-level emulation.
for the duration of the vm-sharing clone used by posix_spawn, all
signals are blocked in the parent process, including
implementation-internal signals. since __synccall cannot do anything
until successfully signaling all threads, the fact that signals are
blocked automatically yields the necessary safety.
aside from debloating and general simplification, part of the
motivation for removing the explicit lock is to simplify the
synchronization logic of __synccall in hopes that it can be made
async-signal-safe, which is needed to make setuid and setgid, which
depend on __synccall, conform to the standard. whether this will be
possible remains to be seen.
patch by Jens Gustedt.
previously, the intended policy was to use __environ in code that must
conform to the ISO C namespace requirements, and environ elsewhere.
this policy was not followed in practice anyway, making things
confusing. on top of that, Jens reported that certain combinations of
link-time optimization options were breaking with the inconsistent
references; this seems to be a compiler or linker bug, but having it
go away is a nice side effect of the changes made here.
this avoids duplicating the fragile logic for executing an external
program without fork.
read should never return anything but 0 or sizeof ec here, but if it
does, we want to treat any other return as "success". then the caller
will get back the pid and is responsible for waiting on it when it
the proposed change was described in detail in detail previously on
the mailing list. in short, vfork is unsafe because:
1. the compiler could make optimizations that cause the child to
clobber the parent's local vars.
2. strace is buggy and allows the vforking parent to run before the
child execs when run under strace.
the new design uses a close-on-exec pipe instead of vfork semantics to
synchronize the parent and child so that the parent does not return
before the child has finished using its arguments (and now, also its
stack). this also allows reporting exec failures to the caller instead
of giving the caller a child that mysteriously exits with status 127
on exec error.
basic testing has been performed on both the success and failure code
paths. further testing should be done.
linux's sched_* syscalls actually implement the TPS (thread
scheduling) functionality, not the PS (process scheduling)
functionality which the sched_* functions are supposed to have.
omitting support for the PS option (and having the sched_* interfaces
fail with ENOSYS rather than omitting them, since some broken software
assumes they exist) seems to be the only conforming way to do this on
this mirrors the stdio_impl.h cleanup. one header which is not
strictly needed, errno.h, is left in pthread_impl.h, because since
pthread functions return their error codes rather than using errno,
nearly every single pthread function needs the errno constants.
in a few places, rather than bringing in string.h to use memset, the
memset was replaced by direct assignment. this seems to generate much
better code anyway, and makes many functions which were previously
non-leaf functions into leaf functions (possibly eliminating a great
deal of bloat on some platforms where non-leaf functions require ugly
prologue and/or epilogue).
ideally, system would also be cancellable while running the external
command, but I cannot find any way to make that work without either
leaking zombie processes or introducing behavior that is far outside
what the standard specifies. glibc handles cancellation by killing the
child process with SIGKILL, but this could be unsafe in that it could
leave the data being manipulated by the command in an inconsistent
__release_ptc() is only valid in the parent; if it's performed in the
child, the lock will be unlocked early then double-unlocked later,
corrupting the lock state.
since we target systems without overcommit, special care should be
taken that system() and popen(), like posix_spawn(), do not fail in
processes whose commit charges are too high to allow ordinary forking.
this in turn requires special precautions to ensure that the parent
process's signal handlers do not end up running in the shared-memory
child, where they could corrupt the state of the parent process.
popen has also been updated to use pipe2, so it does not have a
fd-leak race in multi-threaded programs. since pipe2 is missing on
older kernels, (non-atomic) emulation has been added.
some silly bugs in the old code should be gone too.
usage of vfork creates a situation where a process of lower privilege
may momentarily have write access to the memory of a process of higher
consider the case of a multi-threaded suid program which is calling
posix_spawn in one thread while another thread drops the elevated
privileges then runs untrusted (relative to the elevated privilege)
code as the original invoking user. this untrusted code can then
potentially modify the data the child process will use before calling
exec, for example changing the pathname or arguments that will be
passed to exec.
note that if vfork is implemented as fork, the lock will not be held
until the child execs, but since memory is not shared it does not
vfork is implemented as the fork syscall (with no atfork handlers run)
on archs where it is not available, so this change does not introduce
any change in behavior or regression for such archs.
to deal with the fact that the public headers may be used with pre-c99
compilers, __restrict is used in place of restrict, and defined
appropriately for any supported compiler. we also avoid the form
[restrict] since older versions of gcc rejected it due to a bug in the
original c99 standard, and instead use the form *restrict.
untested; should work.
this may be useful to posix_spawn..?
file actions are not yet implemented, but everything else should be
mostly complete and roughly correct.