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[PATCH] Fix crash when using PYTHONMALLOC=debug (PR python/24742)

This bug was originally reported against Fedora GDB:

The problem is that GDB will crash in the following scenario:


- The Python debuginfo is installed.

- GDB is used to debug Python.

The crash looks like this:

  $ PYTHONMALLOC=debug gdb -args python3 -c pass
  GNU gdb (GDB) Fedora 8.3-3.fc30
  Reading symbols from python3...
  Reading symbols from /usr/lib/debug/usr/bin/python3.7m-3.7.3-3.fc30.x86_64.debug...
  (gdb) run
  Starting program: /usr/bin/python3 -c pass
  Missing separate debuginfos, use: dnf debuginfo-install glibc-2.29-9.fc30.x86_64
  Debug memory block at address p=0x5603977bf330: API ''
      8098648152243306496 bytes originally requested
      The 7 pad bytes at p-7 are not all FORBIDDENBYTE (0xfb):
	  at p-7: 0x03 *** OUCH
	  at p-6: 0x00 *** OUCH
	  at p-5: 0x00 *** OUCH
	  at p-4: 0x00 *** OUCH
	  at p-3: 0x00 *** OUCH
	  at p-2: 0x00 *** OUCH
	  at p-1: 0x00 *** OUCH
      Because memory is corrupted at the start, the count of bytes requested
	 may be bogus, and checking the trailing pad bytes may segfault.
      The 8 pad bytes at tail=0x706483999ad1f330 are Segmentation fault (core dumped)

It's hard to determine what happens, but after doing some
investigation and talking to Victor Stinner I found that GDB should
not use the Python memory allocation functions before the Python
interpreter is initialized (which makes sense).  However, we do just
that on python/python.c:do_start_initialization:

  progsize = strlen (progname.get ());
  progname_copy = (wchar_t *) PyMem_Malloc ((progsize + 1) * sizeof (wchar_t));
  /* Note that Py_SetProgramName expects the string it is passed to
     remain alive for the duration of the program's execution, so
     it is not freed after this call.  */
  Py_SetProgramName (progname_copy);
  Py_Initialize ();
  PyEval_InitThreads ();

Upon reading the Python 3 C API documentation, I
found (

  To avoid memory corruption, extension writers should never try to
  operate on Python objects with the functions exported by the C
  library: malloc(), calloc(), realloc() and free(). This will result in
  mixed calls between the C allocator and the Python memory manager with
  fatal consequences, because they implement different algorithms and
  operate on different heaps. However, one may safely allocate and
  release memory blocks with the C library allocator for individual

And Py_SetProgramName seems like a very simple call that doesn't need
a Python-allocated memory to work on.  So I'm proposing this patch,
which simply replaces PyMem_Malloc by xmalloc.

Testing this is more complicated.  First, the crash is completely
non-deterministic; I was able to reproduce it 10 times in a row, and
then I wasn't able to reproduce it anymore.  I found that if you
completely remove your build directory and rebuild GDB from scratch,
you can reproduce it again confidently.  And with my patch, I
confirmed that the bug doesn't manifest even in this situation.

No regressions found.

OK to apply?

2019-06-27  Sergio Durigan Junior  <>

	PR python/24742
	* python/python.c (do_start_initialization): Use 'xmalloc'
          instead of 'PyMem_Malloc'.
 gdb/python/python.c | 2 +-
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/gdb/python/python.c b/gdb/python/python.c
index 128bfc7588..2f5e94d86c 100644
--- a/gdb/python/python.c
+++ b/gdb/python/python.c
@@ -1602,7 +1602,7 @@ do_start_initialization ()
   std::string oldloc = setlocale (LC_ALL, NULL);
   setlocale (LC_ALL, "");
   progsize = strlen (progname.get ());
-  progname_copy = (wchar_t *) PyMem_Malloc ((progsize + 1) * sizeof (wchar_t));
+  progname_copy = (wchar_t *) xmalloc ((progsize + 1) * sizeof (wchar_t));
   if (!progname_copy)
       fprintf (stderr, "out of memory\n");

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