[PATCH 2/6] treewide: remove using list iterator after loop body as a ptr

Kees Cook keescook at chromium.org
Thu Mar 3 07:07:04 AEDT 2022

On Wed, Mar 02, 2022 at 10:29:31AM +0100, Rasmus Villemoes wrote:
> This won't help the current issue (because it doesn't exist and might
> never), but just in case some compiler people are listening, I'd like to
> have some sort of way to tell the compiler "treat this variable as
> uninitialized from here on". So one could do
> #define kfree(p) do { __kfree(p); __magic_uninit(p); } while (0)
> with __magic_uninit being a magic no-op that doesn't affect the
> semantics of the code, but could be used by the compiler's "[is/may be]
> used uninitialized" machinery to flag e.g. double frees on some odd
> error path etc. It would probably only work for local automatic
> variables, but it should be possible to just ignore the hint if p is
> some expression like foo->bar or has side effects. If we had that, the
> end-of-loop test could include that to "uninitialize" the iterator.

I've long wanted to change kfree() to explicitly set pointers to NULL on
free. https://github.com/KSPP/linux/issues/87

The thing stopping a trivial transformation of kfree() is:


I would argue, though, that the above is poor form: the thing holding
the pointer should be the thing freeing it, so these cases should be
refactored and kfree() could do the NULLing by default.

Quoting myself in the above issue:

Without doing massive tree-wide changes, I think we need compiler
support. If we had something like __builtin_is_lvalue(), we could
distinguish function returns from lvalues. For example, right now a
common case are things like:


But if we could at least gain coverage of the lvalue cases, and detect
them statically at compile-time, we could do:

#define __kfree_and_null(x) do { __kfree(*x); *x = NULL; } while (0)
#define kfree(x) __builtin_choose_expr(__builtin_is_lvalue(x),
			__kfree_and_null(&(x)), __kfree(x))

Alternatively, we could do a tree-wide change of the former case (findable
with Coccinelle) and change them into something like kfree_no_null()
and redefine kfree() itself:

#define kfree_no_null(x) do { void *__ptr = (x); __kfree(__ptr); } while (0)
#define kfree(x) do { __kfree(x); x = NULL; } while (0)

Kees Cook

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