[PATCH 1/3] coredump: only SIGKILL should interrupt thecoredumping task

From: Oleg Nesterov
Date: Sun Feb 17 2013 - 14:20:36 EST

There are 2 well known and ancient problems with coredump/signals,
and a lot of related bug reports:

- do_coredump() clears TIF_SIGPENDING but of course this can't help
if, say, SIGCHLD comes after that.

In this case the coredump can fail unexpectedly. See for example
wait_for_dump_helper()->signal_pending() check but there are other

- At the same time, dumping a huge core on the slow media can take a
lot of time/resources and there is no way to kill the coredumping
task reliably. In particular this is not oom_kill-friendly.

This patch tries to fix the 1st problem, and makes the preparation
for the next changes.

We add the new SIGNAL_GROUP_COREDUMP flag set by zap_threads() to
indicate that this process dumps the core. prepare_signal() checks
this flag and nacks any signal except SIGKILL.

Note that this check tries to be conservative, in the long term we
should probably treat the SIGNAL_GROUP_EXIT case equally but this
needs more discussion. See marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=120508897917439

- recalc_sigpending() doesn't check SIGNAL_GROUP_COREDUMP.
The patch assumes that dump_write/etc paths should never
call it, but we can change it as well.

- There is another source of TIF_SIGPENDING, freezer. This
will be addressed separately.

Signed-off-by: Oleg Nesterov <oleg@xxxxxxxxxx>
fs/coredump.c | 13 +++++--------
include/linux/sched.h | 1 +
kernel/signal.c | 6 ++++--
3 files changed, 10 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-)

diff --git a/fs/coredump.c b/fs/coredump.c
index 1774932..2c1ef6a 100644
--- a/fs/coredump.c
+++ b/fs/coredump.c
@@ -280,8 +280,8 @@ static int zap_process(struct task_struct *start, int exit_code)
return nr;

-static inline int zap_threads(struct task_struct *tsk, struct mm_struct *mm,
- struct core_state *core_state, int exit_code)
+static int zap_threads(struct task_struct *tsk, struct mm_struct *mm,
+ struct core_state *core_state, int exit_code)
struct task_struct *g, *p;
unsigned long flags;
@@ -291,6 +291,9 @@ static inline int zap_threads(struct task_struct *tsk, struct mm_struct *mm,
if (!signal_group_exit(tsk->signal)) {
mm->core_state = core_state;
nr = zap_process(tsk, exit_code);
+ /* ignore all signals except SIGKILL, see prepare_signal() */
+ tsk->signal->flags |= SIGNAL_GROUP_COREDUMP;
+ clear_tsk_thread_flag(tsk, TIF_SIGPENDING);
if (unlikely(nr < 0))
@@ -514,12 +517,6 @@ void do_coredump(siginfo_t *siginfo)

old_cred = override_creds(cred);

- /*
- * Clear any false indication of pending signals that might
- * be seen by the filesystem code called to write the core file.
- */
- clear_thread_flag(TIF_SIGPENDING);
ispipe = format_corename(&cn, &cprm);

if (ispipe) {
diff --git a/include/linux/sched.h b/include/linux/sched.h
index d211247..932a90c 100644
--- a/include/linux/sched.h
+++ b/include/linux/sched.h
@@ -672,6 +672,7 @@ struct signal_struct {
#define SIGNAL_STOP_STOPPED 0x00000001 /* job control stop in effect */
#define SIGNAL_STOP_CONTINUED 0x00000002 /* SIGCONT since WCONTINUED reap */
#define SIGNAL_GROUP_EXIT 0x00000004 /* group exit in progress */
+#define SIGNAL_GROUP_COREDUMP 0x00000008 /* coredump in progress */
* Pending notifications to parent.
diff --git a/kernel/signal.c b/kernel/signal.c
index 3d09cf6..ebae2e0 100644
--- a/kernel/signal.c
+++ b/kernel/signal.c
@@ -851,12 +851,14 @@ static void ptrace_trap_notify(struct task_struct *t)
* Returns true if the signal should be actually delivered, otherwise
* it should be dropped.
-static int prepare_signal(int sig, struct task_struct *p, bool force)
+static bool prepare_signal(int sig, struct task_struct *p, bool force)
struct signal_struct *signal = p->signal;
struct task_struct *t;

- if (unlikely(signal->flags & SIGNAL_GROUP_EXIT)) {
+ if (signal->flags & (SIGNAL_GROUP_EXIT | SIGNAL_GROUP_COREDUMP)) {
+ if (signal->flags & SIGNAL_GROUP_COREDUMP)
+ return sig == SIGKILL;
* The process is in the middle of dying, nothing to do.

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