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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC v1] random: implement getrandom() in vDSO
Date
* Thomas Gleixner:

> On Tue, Aug 02 2022 at 15:59, Jason A. Donenfeld wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 02, 2022 at 03:46:27PM +0200, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
>>> Right now the Linux VDSO functions are 1:1 replacements for system calls
>>> and not adding a magic pile of functionality which is otherwise not
>>> available.
>>>
>>> What you are proposing is to have an implementation which is not
>>> available via a regular syscall. Which means you are creating a VDSO
>>> only syscall which still has the same problem as any other syscall in
>>> terms of API design and functionality which needs to be supported
>>> forever.
>>
>> Wait, what? That's not correct. The WHOLE point is that vdso getrandom()
>> will generate bytes in the same way as the ordinary syscall, without
>> differences. Same function name, same algorithm. But just faster,
>> because vDSO. I explicitly don't want to dip into introducing something
>> different. That's the big selling point: that vDSO getrandom() and
>> syscall getrandom() are the same thing. If you trust one, you can trust
>> the other. If you expect properties of one, you get that from the other.
>> If you know the API of one, you can use the other.
>
> Seriously no. All existing VDSO functions have exactly the same function
> signature and semantics as their syscall counterparts. So they are drop
> in equivalent.
>
> But:
>
> ssize_t getrandom(void *, void *, size_t, unsigned int);
>
> is very much different than
>
> ssize_t getrandom(void *, size_t, unsigned int);
>
> Different signature and different semantics.

Just use

ssize_t getrandom(size_t, unsigned int, void *);

then and have the system call ignore the argument. There is recent
precedent for adding additional arguments to system calls, see
membarrier. If we want to be super-conservative, we could add a new
flag and have the vDSO version always call into the kernel if the flag
isn't set.

*This* part is far less problematic compared to the approach to
per-thread memory allocation.

We now have:

* Explicit donation of memory areas to the kernel (set_robust_list,
rseq).

* This getrandom_alloc vDSO call which does something unspecified and
may return pointers which are or are not abstract. (How is CRIU
expected to handle this?)

* There's also userspace shadow stack coming. I think the kernel moved
away from implicit allocation, to something mmap-based. It's not
clear to me why that would be okay here, but not for shadow stacks.

Does io_uring have to handle a similar problem, too?

As long as the vDSO doesn't use private system calls, I don't expect any
practical problems, but this optimization doesn't really look to me like
something that intrinsically benefits from a completely new way of
allocating userspace memory for use by the kernel.

Thanks,
Florian

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