[3.13.y.z extended stable] Patch "missing data dependency barrier in prepend_name()" has been added to staging queue

Kamal Mostafa kamal at canonical.com
Tue Oct 21 20:09:25 UTC 2014

This is a note to let you know that I have just added a patch titled

    missing data dependency barrier in prepend_name()

to the linux-3.13.y-queue branch of the 3.13.y.z extended stable tree 
which can be found at:


This patch is scheduled to be released in version

If you, or anyone else, feels it should not be added to this tree, please 
reply to this email.

For more information about the 3.13.y.z tree, see



>From 95905bc2ac67875a0cd7f56ac1e1e50acf79e351 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Al Viro <viro at zeniv.linux.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:46:30 -0400
Subject: missing data dependency barrier in prepend_name()

commit 6d13f69444bd3d4888e43f7756449748f5a98bad upstream.

AFAICS, prepend_name() is broken on SMP alpha.  Disclaimer: I don't have
SMP alpha boxen to reproduce it on.  However, it really looks like the race
is real.

CPU1: d_path() on /mnt/ramfs/<255-character>/foo
CPU2: mv /mnt/ramfs/<255-character> /mnt/ramfs/<63-character>

CPU2 does d_alloc(), which allocates an external name, stores the name there
including terminating NUL, does smp_wmb() and stores its address in
dentry->d_name.name.  It proceeds to d_add(dentry, NULL) and d_move()
old dentry over to that.  ->d_name.name value ends up in that dentry.

In the meanwhile, CPU1 gets to prepend_name() for that dentry.  It fetches
->d_name.name and ->d_name.len; the former ends up pointing to new name
(64-byte kmalloc'ed array), the latter - 255 (length of the old name).
Nothing to force the ordering there, and normally that would be OK, since we'd
run into the terminating NUL and stop.  Except that it's alpha, and we'd need
a data dependency barrier to guarantee that we see that store of NUL
__d_alloc() has done.  In a similar situation dentry_cmp() would survive; it
does explicit smp_read_barrier_depends() after fetching ->d_name.name.
prepend_name() doesn't and it risks walking past the end of kmalloc'ed object
and possibly oops due to taking a page fault in kernel mode.

Signed-off-by: Al Viro <viro at zeniv.linux.org.uk>
Signed-off-by: Kamal Mostafa <kamal at canonical.com>
 fs/dcache.c | 5 +++++
 1 file changed, 5 insertions(+)

diff --git a/fs/dcache.c b/fs/dcache.c
index 7f3b400..2e3c637 100644
--- a/fs/dcache.c
+++ b/fs/dcache.c
@@ -2825,6 +2825,9 @@ static int prepend(char **buffer, int *buflen, const char *str, int namelen)
  * the beginning of the name. The sequence number check at the caller will
  * retry it again when a d_move() does happen. So any garbage in the buffer
  * due to mismatched pointer and length will be discarded.
+ *
+ * Data dependency barrier is needed to make sure that we see that terminating
+ * NUL.  Alpha strikes again, film at 11...
 static int prepend_name(char **buffer, int *buflen, struct qstr *name)
@@ -2832,6 +2835,8 @@ static int prepend_name(char **buffer, int *buflen, struct qstr *name)
 	u32 dlen = ACCESS_ONCE(name->len);
 	char *p;

+	smp_read_barrier_depends();
 	*buflen -= dlen + 1;
 	if (*buflen < 0)
 		return -ENAMETOOLONG;

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