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Subject[PATCH mm-unstable] mm/madvise: remove CAP_SYS_ADMIN requirement for process_madvise(MADV_COLLAPSE)
process_madvise(MADV_COLLAPSE) currently requires CAP_SYS_ADMIN when not
acting on the caller's own mm. This is maximally restrictive, and
perpetuates existing issues with CAP_SYS_ADMIN. Remove this requirement.

When acting on an external process' memory, the biggest concerns for
process_madvise(MADV_COLLAPSE) are (1) being able to influence process
performance by moving memory, possibly between nodes, that is mapped
into the address space of external process(es), (2) defeat of
address-space-layout randomization, and (3), being able to increase
process RSS and memcg usage, possibly causing memcg OOM.

process_madvise(2) already enforces CAP_SYS_NICE and PTRACE_MODE_READ (in
PTRACE_MODE_FSCREDS mode). A process with these credentials can already
accomplish (1) and (2) via move_pages(MPOL_MF_MOVE_ALL), and (3) via

process_madvise(MADV_COLLAPSE) may also circumvent sysfs THP settings.
When acting on one's own memory (which is equivalent to
madvise(MADV_COLLAPSE)), this is deemed acceptable, since aside from the
possibility of hoarding available hugepages (which is currently already
possible) no harm to the system can be done. When acting on an external
process' memory, circumventing sysfs THP settings should provide no
additional threat compared to the ones listed. As such, imposing
additional capabilities (such as CAP_SETUID, as a way to ensure the
caller could have just altered the sysfs THP settings themselves)
provides no extra protection.

Fixes: 7ec952341312 ("mm/madvise: add MADV_COLLAPSE to process_madvise()")
Signed-off-by: Zach O'Keefe <>
mm/madvise.c | 8 +++-----
1 file changed, 3 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/mm/madvise.c b/mm/madvise.c
index f9e11b6c9916..af97100a0727 100644
--- a/mm/madvise.c
+++ b/mm/madvise.c
@@ -1170,16 +1170,14 @@ madvise_behavior_valid(int behavior)

-static bool
-process_madvise_behavior_valid(int behavior, struct task_struct *task)
+static bool process_madvise_behavior_valid(int behavior)
switch (behavior) {
- return true;
- return task == current || capable(CAP_SYS_ADMIN);
+ return true;
return false;
@@ -1457,7 +1455,7 @@ SYSCALL_DEFINE5(process_madvise, int, pidfd, const struct iovec __user *, vec,
goto free_iov;

- if (!process_madvise_behavior_valid(behavior, task)) {
+ if (!process_madvise_behavior_valid(behavior)) {
ret = -EINVAL;
goto release_task;
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