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SubjectRe: [PATCH mm-unstable] mm/madvise: remove CAP_SYS_ADMIN requirement for process_madvise(MADV_COLLAPSE)
On Tue, Aug 2, 2022 at 5:04 AM Michal Hocko <> wrote:
> On Tue 02-08-22 02:48:33, Zach O'Keefe wrote:
> [...]
> > "mm/madvise: add MADV_COLLAPSE to process_madvise()" in the v7 series
> > ended with me mentioning a couple options, but ultimately I didn't
> > present a solution, and no consensus was reached[1]. After taking a
> > closer look, this is my proposal for what I believe to be the best
> > path forward. It should be squashed into the original patch. What do you think?
> If it is agreed that the CAP_SYS_ADMIN is too strict of a requirement
> then yes, this should be squashed into the original patch. There is no
> real reason to create a potential bisection headache by changing the
> permission model in a later patch.

Sorry about the confusion here. Assumed (incorrectly) that Andrew
would kindly squash this in mm-unstable since I added the Fixes: tag.
Next time I'll add some explicit verbiage saying it should be

> From my POV, I would agree that CAP_SYS_ADMIN is just too strict of a
> requirement.
> I didn't really have time to follow recent discussions but I would argue
> that the operation is not really destructive or seriously harmful. All
> applications can already have their memory (almost) equally THP
> collapsed by khupaged with the proposed process_madvise semantic.
> NOHUGEMEM and prctl opt out from THP are both honored AFAIU and the only
> difference is the global THP killswitch behavior which I do not think
> warrants the strongest CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability (especially because it
> doesn't really control all kinds of THPs).

Ya. In fact, I don't think the ignoring the THP sysfs controls
warrants any additional capability (set alone CAPS_SYS_ADMIN), since a
malicious program can't really inflict any more damage than they would

> If there is a userspace agent collapsing memory and causing problems
> then it can be easily fixed in the userspace. And I find that easier
> to do than putting the bar so high that userspace agents would be
> unfeasible because of CAP_SYS_ADMIN (which is nono in many cases as it
> would allow essentially full control of other stuff). So from practical
> POV, risking an extended RSS is really a negligible risk to lose a
> potentially useful feature for all others.


Thanks for taking the time, Michal!

> Just my 2c
> > Thanks again,
> > Zach
> >
> > [1]
> --
> Michal Hocko
> SUSE Labs

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