Re: Possible mmap() write() problem in SLES11 SP2 kernel

From: Hugh Dickins
Date: Sat Aug 03 2013 - 18:37:33 EST

On Thu, 1 Aug 2013, Ulrich Windl wrote:
> Hi folks!
> I think I'd let you know (maybe I'm wrong, and the kernel is right):
> I write a C-program that maps a file into an private writable map. Then I modify the area a bit and use one write to write that area back to a file.
> This worked fine in SLES11 kernel 3.0.74-0.6.10. However with kernel 3.0.80-0.7 the write() fails with EFAULT if the output file is the same as the input file.

I wonder if you actually did exactly the same on both kernels.

> The strace is amazingly short (I removed the unrelated calls):

Providing that was very helpful.

> open("xxx", O_RDONLY) = 3
> fstat(3, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=4416, ...}) = 0
> mmap(NULL, 4416, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE, 3, 0) = 0x7f85ac045000
> close(3) = 0
> open("xxx", O_WRONLY|O_CREAT|O_TRUNC, 0666) = 3

The crucial point is the above O_TRUNC when you now open the file for
writing: that truncates the file to 0-length, which unmaps any pages
mapped from it into userspace. Even the privately modified COW pages:
that often seems surprising, but it is how mmap versus truncate is
specified to work.

> write(3, 0x7f85ac045000, 4414) = -1 EFAULT (Bad address)

If your program now touched a part of the mapping, it would get
SIGBUS, there being no pages of underlying object to page in from.
But since you're accessing the area from within a system call,
that simply fails with EFAULT.

> close(3) = 0
> munmap(0x7f85ac045000, 4414) = 0
> I want to have your attention if this should work, and you get my attention if this should not work.

It should not work.

> Note that the input file is closed before it's opened for write again. As the output file is typically shorter than the input, I didn't want to use a non-private mapping and a truncate, just in case you wonder...

(I didn't understand your logic there.)

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at