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Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2020 08:11:45 +0200
From: Rasmus Villemoes <>
To: Kees Cook <>
Cc: Jason Gunthorpe <>, Leon Romanovsky <>,
 "Gustavo A. R. Silva" <>,
 Matthew Wilcox <>,,
Subject: Re: [RFC] saturate check_*_overflow() output?

On 03/08/2020 20.29, Kees Cook wrote:
> Hi,
> I wonder if we should explicitly saturate the output of the overflow
> helpers as a side-effect of overflow detection? 

Please no.

(That way the output
> is never available with a "bad" value, if the caller fails to check the
> result or forgets that *d was written...) since right now, *d will hold
> the wrapped value.

Exactly. I designed the fallback ones so they would have the same
semantics as when using gcc's __builtin_* - though with the "all
operands have same type" restriction, since it would be completely
unwieldy to handle stuff like (s8) + (u64) -> (s32) in macros.

> Also, if we enable arithmetic overflow detection sanitizers, we're going
> to trip over the fallback implementation (since it'll wrap and then do
> the overflow test in the macro).

Huh? The fallback code only ever uses unsigned arithmetic, precisely to
avoid triggering such warnings. Or are you saying there are some
sanitizers out there which also warn for, say, (~0u) + 1u? Yes,
detecting overflow/underflow for a (s32)-(s32)->(s32) without relying on
-fwrapv is a bit messy, but it's done and AFAIK works just fine even
with UBSAN enabled.

What we might do, to deal with the "caller fails to check the result",
is to add a

static inline bool __must_check must_check_overflow(bool b) { return
unlikely(b); }

and wrap all the final "did it overflow" results in that one - perhaps
also for the __builtin_* cases, I don't know if those are automatically
equipped with that attribute. [I also don't know if gcc propagates
likely/unlikely out to the caller, but it shouldn't hurt to have it
there and might improve code gen if it does.]


PS: Another reason not to saturate is that there are two extreme values,
and choosing between them makes the code very messy (especially when
using the __builtins). 5u-10u should saturate to 0u, not UINT_MAX, and
even for for underflowing a signed computation like INT_MIN + (-7); it
makes no sense for that to saturate to INT_MAX.

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