linux-kernel March 2009 archive
Main Archive Page > Month Archives  > linux-kernel archives
linux-kernel: Re: [PATCH] CRED: Fix check_unsafe_exec()

Re: [PATCH] CRED: Fix check_unsafe_exec()

From: Hugh Dickins <hugh_at_nospam>
Date: Mon Mar 16 2009 - 22:15:23 GMT
To: David Howells <>

On Thu, 12 Mar 2009, David Howells wrote:
> Hugh Dickins <> wrote:
> > We do. See the original thread. It's here at
> >
> > and appended below for convenience. We do know that patch did not
> > fix Joe's problem, and we don't yet know whether addressing the
> > files->count issue will actually fix it, but I'm hopeful.
> Looks reasonable.

Thanks for taking a look.

Yes, I'm inclined to go with that, and removing the files->count check from exec.c. Joe, did you manage to try your testing with my original patch plus that files->count check removed from 2.6.28's unsafe_exec()?

Though I've since thought a better answer would probably be to unshare fs and sighand from the exec'ing task in the same way that files is unshared at the start, then I hope we wouldn't need to suppress setuid in the case when any of those had been shared.

But I believe that course would make a slight difference to the behaviour of the respective CLONE flags versus exec: I'd guess a difference that nobody cares about, but my guesses don't count for much here, and I really don't want to cause any regression.

Chris, have you had a chance to look at any of this yet?

> One thing that should be added, though, is a comment in
> struct fs_struct to give a warning about the consequences of incrementing the
> usage count for anything other than CLONE_FS.

Yes, that's a very sensible addition, thanks - if we do go this way, rather than unsharing. I'll hold on to this as one of a set of three: my original fs->count avoidance one, your comment on that below, and removing the files->count check from exec.c.

Since Joe's bug has been around forever (if it is what we think it is), I'm disinclined to rush the fix - something nice to add to -stable, rather than needing to squeeze into 2.6.29.


> David
> ---
> From: David Howells <>
> Subject: [PATCH] Annotate struct fs_struct's usage count to indicate the restrictions upon it
> Annotate struct fs_struct's usage count to indicate the restrictions upon it.
> It may not be incremented, except by clone(CLONE_FS), as this affects the
> check in check_unsafe_exec() in fs/exec.c.
> Signed-off-by: David Howells <>
> ---
> include/linux/fs_struct.h | 6 +++++-
> 1 files changed, 5 insertions(+), 1 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/include/linux/fs_struct.h b/include/linux/fs_struct.h
> index a97c053..b12ede4 100644
> --- a/include/linux/fs_struct.h
> +++ b/include/linux/fs_struct.h
> @@ -4,7 +4,11 @@
> #include <linux/path.h>
> struct fs_struct {
> - atomic_t count;
> + atomic_t count; /* This usage count is used by check_unsafe_exec() for
> + * security checking purposes - therefore it may not be
> + * incremented, except by clone(CLONE_FS).
> + */
> +
> rwlock_t lock;
> int umask;
> struct path root, pwd;
-- To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-security-module" in the body of a message to More majordomo info at