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From: Oliver Hartkopp <>
To: Vincent MAILHOL <>
Cc: "Marc Kleine-Budde" <>,,,
	"Stéphane Grosjean" <>
Subject: Re: [net-rfc 04/16] can: dev: can_get_len(): add a helper function to get the correct length of Classical frames
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2020 15:28:55 +0200
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On 22.10.20 14:23, Vincent MAILHOL wrote:
> On 22.10.20 16:15, Oliver Hartkopp wrote:
>> On 22.10.20 05:30, Vincent MAILHOL wrote:
>>> On 22.10.20 02:52, Oliver Hartkopp wrote:
>>>> On 21.10.20 13:55, Vincent MAILHOL wrote:
>>>>>> On 21.10.20 18:48, Oliver Hartkopp wrote:
>>>>>> To be more compatible to non raw dlc CAN frame sources the tx handling
>>>>>> could also be like this:
>>>>>> if ((can_dlc == CAN_MAX_DLEN) &&
>>>>>>         (raw_dlc >= CAN_MAX_DLC && raw_dlc <= CAN_MAX_RAW_DLC))
>>>>>> => use raw_dlc
>>> In addition to that, we would have to decide what to do with malformed
>>> frames. If can_dlc and can_raw are set to contradictory values, do we
>>> drop the frame, do we just ignore the raw_dlc? For example, if can_dlc
>>> is 8 but raw_dlc is 2, I think that we should drop.
>> The pseudo code is pretty clear on this: Use can_dlc.
>> The nice thing about testing raw_dlc to be 9..15 when can_dlc == 8 is,
>> that we always have a correct CAN frame on the wire with 8 bytes of content.
>> Ok, the raw_dlc might be an uninitialized value - but still everything
>> remains fine for operation. So why dropping frames here?
> If the can_dlc and raw_dlc are in contradiction, then the user is
> trying to do something not supported. After introducing raw_dlc,
> someone might want to try sending such malformed frames. If the
> operation succeeds, he then might be fooled in thinking that he
> actually send, for example, a frame of eight bytes with a DLC of 2.


You obviously did not read my description / pseudo code :-(

There is no contradiction.

if (can_dlc == 8) && (raw_dlc > 8 && raw_dlc <= 15)
     dlc = raw_dlc;
     dlc = can_dlc;

can_dlc == 8 is the entry door to write dlc values from 9..15 into the 
controller register.
Which always leads to a valid CAN frame with 8 bytes.

> In such a scenario, I think it is better to tell the user: "what you
> are doing is not supported" by returning -EINVAL (similar to what is
> currently done when an invalid skb is sent).
>> The problem of uninitialized values could be solved with a
>> CAN_RAW_RAW_DLC sockopt BUT you will be always able to send a CAN frame
>> with an AF_PACKET socket which has no CAN_RAW_RAW_DLC sockopt.
>> And then?
> I am not competent enough on that point to comment. I was not aware of
> the possibility of using AF_PACKET to send CAN frames. Do you have a
> link to any example of such code? I would be glad to study it and come
> back to you once I understand this point.

>> The above pseudo code together with CAN_CTRLMODE_RAW_DLC seems to be a
>> pretty safe option to me. Even if 'legacy' applications with
>> uninitialized raw_dlc send CAN frames or AF_PACKET users enable
>> CAN_CTRLMODE_RAW_DLC we always end up with a proper can_dlc == 8  and a
>> fitting valid raw_dlc.
> But what if that "fitting valid raw_dlc" is greater than 8?

This is the plan!

> The kernel

the CAN driver

> would see that frame as valid, a frame with a DLC greater than 8 will
> be sent on the wire and received by the other devices than might be
> connected on the CAN bus.


>>> If we go this direction, I would propose below logic:
>>>    1. if raw_dlc equals can_dlc: nominal case.
>> Is not tested. We would start on testing can_dlc == 8
>>>    2. if can_dlc equals 8 and raw_dlc is greater than 8: use raw_dlc
>>>       case, already covered in your code.
>> ACK
>>>    3. if raw_dlc is 0, then consider it as unset: overwrite raw_dlc with
>>>       can_dlc (so that it becomes case 1).
>> Is not tested like this. We would start on can_dlc == 8 - and then check
>> for valid raw_dlc 9..15
>>>    4. Other scenarios: the frame is malformed: drop it.
>> No dropping.
>>> Logic should apply for both Tx and Rx paths.
>> So test for can_dlc == 8 - and then check for valid raw_dlc 9..15 in the
>> user space?! Fine.
> My view: users and drivers directly use raw_dlc without need to check
> for can_dlc == 8 (detailed explanation below).
>> Btw. we can make sure that we do not have uninitialized raw_dlc value in
>> the rx path in the enabled drivers. In fact you could always use the
>> raw_dlc then.
> My view is that if we introduce the raw_dlc field, we should always
> populate it with the DLC value as defined in ISO, even if
> CAN_CTRLMODE_RAW_DLC and CAN_RAW_RAW_DLC are not active. User could
> then benefit from this field to get the DLC value (and maximum value
> would be either CAN_MAX_DLC or CAN_MAX_DLC RAW depending on the
> context).
> Rationale is that the raw_dlc field would always be visible in the
> struct can_frame. So if it is here, use it. Having it sometimes used,
> sometimes not would be confusing for the user.

I wonder if it's more confusing to fill raw_dlc without 

> Basically, that would replace the use of the can_len2dlc() function.
> I also think it should be extended to CAN-FD, but no need to elaborate
> more on this at the moment: let's keep the discussion focused on
> classical CAN and tackle this later.

Why do you want this?

You get of the bike and push your bicycle for what reason?


>> BUT it makes sense to use this test to detect cases, where someone
>> forgot to switch on CAN_CTRLMODE_RAW_DLC or the driver doesn't support
>> it and the programmer did not check the ctrlmode netlink return values.
> My view: if the user tries to send raw_dlc bigger than 8 and
> CAN_CTRLMODE_RAW_DLC and CAN_RAW_RAW_DLC are not active, return

raw_dlc has always to be bigger than 8. What am I explaining wrong all 
time that you don't get it?


>> Ok, let me rephrase: Filling can_dlc with something else than a plain
>> length information 0..8 ;-)
> Got it :-)
>  From my preliminary study, not so much changes or sanity check would
> need to be added:
>    1. The current can_dlc sanity checks in can_send() and can_rcv() in
>       net/can/af_can.c definitely needs to be adjusted (but this would
>       also be the case for the raw_dlc field solution).
>    2. In the kernel Rx and Tx paths: the length should not be accessed
>       directly anymore but through a getter function.
>    3. In the kernel: drivers "DLC aware" need to adapt their code and
>       use the length getter function.
>    4. In user land: new "DLC aware" code should always use struct
>       can_frame for classical CAN and check whether can_dlc is greater
>       that CAN_MAX_DLEN before accessing data.
> That's mostly all that would have to be adjusted.

No, it is not.
You have to go through all protocols, e.g. raw.c, bcm.c, gw.c, j1939, 
isotp.c which get a skb to be (sometimes) cloned by them. And when they 
need to modify the can_dlc value to send it to the userspace or 
whatever, you need to modify skb->data - and then you can't clone it 
anymore but need to skbcopy() them.
HERE you will get a really big effort. Occasionally I was also thinking 
using can_dlc would be nice but then I looked into above code and your 
use-case does not justify that effort/ risk and performance impact.

>>>> The 14 year old documentation in can.h says:
>>>> @can_dlc: frame payload length in byte (0 .. 8)
>>>> I will not break this established rule for a testing feature. The
>>>> question from Joakim clearly showed: Don't touch this!
>>> My point is this is an expert feature: if you do not understand it, do
>>> not use it and you are safe to go using the 14 years old definition.
>> Full ACK - but you can't imagine what people do in the real world. Do
>> you know these 'more helps more' guys that switch everything to 'on'? :-D
> Switching everything options on through an "ip link set canX up ..."
> should not cause damage. If the user is doing random setsockopt()
> without any clues of what he is doing, then he is already a lost cause
> for me...
>> The approach with CAN_CTRLMODE_RAW_DLC and the described testing would
>> be even robust against unintended miss-use.
> Exception: can_dlc == 8 and a non-initialed raw_dlc gets a garbage
> value between 9 and 15 from the stack (c.f. above comment).

Right, and what would be the effect of this?

You know the answer: Nothing breaks.

>>>> At the end it would have made more sense to call it can_frame.len in the
>>>> first place. But this first came into our mind when CAN FD showed up.
>>>> The discussion about the can_dlc meaning can be closed IMO. It is a
>>>> plain length from 0..8 which is unfortunately named can_dlc.
>>> I agree that it should have been named len from the beginning, but as
>>> a matter of fact it has been named "can_dlc". For me as a user, I
>>> expect can_dlc to follow the DLC definition in ISO and so I *prefer*
>>> to opt for the compromise of losing the plain length property rather
>>> than losing the semantic meaning.
>> I don't think you can claim to be a standard user. You are an expert for
>> security testing and digged into the ISO standard and intentionally
>> write DLC values >8 into controller registers. Users don't do things
>> like this ;-)
> You get a point :-)
> Whatever the output of our discussion is, I have one strong
> request. The linux kernel has a huge audience and has such, I think it
> is our duty to be technically accurate even in small details.

But we failed to do so by naming the plain data length can_dlc. We have 
to deal with that legacy.
You can not fix that anymore.

> I would like to add a comment in the struct can_frame to acknowledge
> the discrepancy with the ISO. Some people who do not have access to
> the ISO standard might refer instead to the SocketCAN documentation to
> learn and understand the protocol and those people might use this
> knowledge to program on other platforms (e.g. bare-metal
> microcontrollers). Using the DLC as a plain length on those systems
> might results in vulnerabilities in production and potentially safety
> hazard.
> That's also why I would like to see the Socket CAN DLC be used
> according to ISO: so that we raise awareness on that issue and so that
> users can transfer their knowledge to other platforms.

Vincent, stop discussing about having in can_dlc anything else then a 
plain length from 0..8.
I'm really getting tired on this after the 6th or whatever round.

Read and understand my mails.


  reply index

Thread overview: 45+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-10-19 19:05 [RFC]: can 2020-10-19 Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 01/16] can: proc: can_remove_proc(): silence remove_proc_entry warning Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 02/16] can: rx-offload: don't call kfree_skb() from IRQ context Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 03/16] can: dev: can_get_echo_skb(): prevent call to kfree_skb() in hard " Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 04/16] can: dev: can_get_len(): add a helper function to get the correct length of Classical frames Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 20:35   ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-20  6:35     ` Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-20 11:30       ` Vincent Mailhol
2020-10-20 11:48         ` Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-20 12:38         ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-20 15:02           ` Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-20 16:07           ` Vincent Mailhol
2020-10-20 17:04             ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-20 18:50               ` Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-21  0:52               ` Vincent Mailhol
2020-10-21  6:23                 ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-21  7:11                   ` Joakim Zhang
2020-10-21  7:21                     ` Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-21  7:48                       ` Joakim Zhang
2020-10-21  9:21                   ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-21  9:48                     ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-21 11:55                     ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-21 17:52                       ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-22  3:30                         ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-22  7:15                           ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-22 12:23                             ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-22 13:28                               ` Oliver Hartkopp [this message]
2020-10-22 15:46                                 ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-22 17:06                                   ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-23 10:36                                     ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-23 16:47                                       ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-24  5:25                                         ` Vincent MAILHOL
2020-10-24 11:31                                           ` Oliver Hartkopp
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 05/16] can: dev: __can_get_echo_skb(): fix the returned length of CAN frame Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 06/16] can: can_create_echo_skb(): fix echo skb generation: always use skb_clone() Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 07/16] can: j1939: j1939_sk_bind(): return failure if netdev is down Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 08/16] can: isotp: Explain PDU in CAN_ISOTP help text Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 09/16] can: isotp: enable RX timeout handling in listen-only mode Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 10/16] can: ti_hecc: add missed clk_disable_unprepare() in error path Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 11/16] can: xilinx_can: handle failure cases of pm_runtime_get_sync Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 12/16] can: peak_usb: fix timestamp wrapping Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 13/16] can: peak_canfd: fix echo management when loopback is on Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 14/16] can: mcp251xfd: mcp251xfd_regmap_crc_read(): increase severity of CRC read error messages Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 15/16] can: mcp251xfd: mcp251xfd_regmap_nocrc_read(): fix semicolon.cocci warnings Marc Kleine-Budde
2020-10-19 19:05 ` [net-rfc 16/16] can: mcp251xfd: remove unneeded break Marc Kleine-Budde

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