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Re: [RFC PATCH v4 1/5] glibc: Perform rseq(2) registration at nptl init and thread creation

On Thu, Nov 22, 2018 at 10:04:16AM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> ----- On Nov 22, 2018, at 9:36 AM, Rich Felker wrote:
> > On Wed, Nov 21, 2018 at 01:39:32PM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> >> Register rseq(2) TLS for each thread (including main), and unregister
> >> for each thread (excluding main). "rseq" stands for Restartable
> >> Sequences.
> > 
> > Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but "unregister" does not seem to
> > be a meaningful operation. Can you clarify what it's for?
> There are really two ways rseq TLS can end up being unregistered: either
> through an explicit call to the rseq "unregister", or when the OS frees the
> thread's task struct.
> You bring an interesting point here: do we need to explicitly unregister
> rseq at thread exit, or can we leave that to the OS ?
> The key thing to look for here is whether it's valid to access the
> TLS area of the thread from preemption or signal delivery happening
> at the very end of START_THREAD_DEFN. If it's OK to access it until
> the very end of the thread lifetime, then we could do without an
> explicit unregistration. However, if at any given point of the late
> thread lifetime we end up in a situation where reading or writing to
> that TLS area can cause corruption, then we need to carefully
> unregister it before that memory is reclaimed/reused.

The thread memory cannot be reused until after kernel task exit,
reported via the set_tid_address futex. Also, assuming signals are
blocked (which is absolutely necessary for other reasons) nothing in
userspace can touch the rseq state after this point anyway.

I was more confused about the need for reference counting, though.
Where would anything be able to observe a state other than "refcnt>0"?
-- in which case tracking it makes no sense. If the goal is to make an
ABI thatsupports environments where libc doesn't have rseq support,
and a third-party library is providing a compatible ABI, it seems all
that would be needed it a boolean thread-local "is_initialized" flag.
There does not seem to be any safe way such a library could be
dynamically unloaded (which would require unregistration in all
threads) and thus no need for a count.


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