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From: Matthias Maennich <>
To: Jessica Yu <>
Cc: Matthew Dharm <>,
	Guenter Roeck <>,
	Masahiro Yamada <>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
	Android Kernel Team <>,
	Arnd Bergmann <>,
	Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
	"Joel Fernandes (Google)" <>,
	Lucas De Marchi <>,,,
	Will Deacon <>,
	Linux Kbuild mailing list <>,,
	linux-usb <>,
	USB Mass Storage on Linux  <>,
Subject: Re: [usb-storage] Re: [PATCH v4 12/12] RFC: watchdog: export core symbols in WATCHDOG_CORE namespace
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 12:25:41 +0100
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20190905104147.GA27788@linux-8ccs>

On Thu, Sep 05, 2019 at 12:41:47PM +0200, Jessica Yu wrote:
>+++ Matthew Dharm [04/09/19 09:16 -0700]:
>>On Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 5:12 AM Guenter Roeck <> wrote:
>>>Note that I don't object to the patch set in general. There may be symbols
>>>which only need be exported in the context of a single subsystem or even
>>>driver (if a driver consists of more than one module). For example, a mfd
>>>driver may export symbols which should only be called by its client drivers.
>>>In such a situation, it may well be beneficial to limit the use of exported
>>I can appreciate this benefit.
>>>I am not sure what good that does in practice (if I understand correctly,
>>>a driver only has to declare that it wants to use a restricted use symbol
>>>if it wants to use it), but that is a different question.
>>I think this question implies that you are coming from the perspective
>>of "security" or wanting to restrict access to the underlying
>>functions, rather than wanting to clean-up the way symbols are handled
>>for manageability / maintainability purposes (which is the goal, as I
>>understand it).

The goal of this patch set is to introduce structure into the exported
surface that goes beyond naming conventions like 'usb_*'. So, it is
rather about maintainability then security. In particular, creating the
visibility of which parts of the kernel use which other parts, might
help to find cases where suboptimal choices were made. Maybe already
during development/review.

As Guenter correctly noted, a module is able to declare that it wants to
use a namespace. One idea that came up earlier was to maybe restrict the
namespaces that can actually be imported by modules. But I would see
anything in that direction as beyond the scope of this series.

A nice side effect of having to declare the usage is that it shows up in
modinfo and module users can reason about how the module interacts with
the rest of the kernel.

>>HOWEVER, I have one question:  If these patches are included, and
>>someone wants to introduce a bit of code which needs to use two
>>symbols from different namespaces but with the same name, can that be
>>done?  That is, if driver A has symbol 'foo' and driver B has symbol
>>'foo' (both in their respective namespaces), and driver C wants to use
>> and, can that be supported?
>As of now, we currently don't support this - modpost will warn if a
>symbol is exported more than once (across modules + vmlinux), and the
>module loader currently assumes exported symbol names are unique.  Do
>you have a concrete use case? If there is a strong need for this, I
>don't think it'd be too hard to implement.

The implementation does not change the fact that symbol names need to be
unique. As Arnd just mentioned in the other thread: the linker will
already fail if two builtin symbols use the same name. It is rather a
tag attached to the symbol.


  parent reply index

Thread overview: 27+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
2019-09-03 15:06 ` [PATCH v4 00/12] Symbol Namespaces Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 01/12] module: support reading multiple values per modinfo tag Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 02/12] export: explicitly align struct kernel_symbol Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 03/12] module: add support for symbol namespaces Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 04/12] modpost: " Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 05/12] module: add config option MODULE_ALLOW_MISSING_NAMESPACE_IMPORTS Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 06/12] export: allow definition default namespaces in Makefiles or sources Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 07/12] modpost: add support for generating namespace dependencies Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 08/12] scripts: Coccinelle script for " Matthias Maennich
2019-09-04  9:53     ` Masahiro Yamada
2019-09-05 14:46       ` Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 09/12] docs: Add documentation for Symbol Namespaces Matthias Maennich
2019-09-04  7:16     ` Greg KH
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 10/12] usb-storage: remove single-use define for debugging Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 11/12] RFC: usb-storage: export symbols in USB_STORAGE namespace Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 15:06   ` [PATCH v4 12/12] RFC: watchdog: export core symbols in WATCHDOG_CORE namespace Matthias Maennich
2019-09-03 16:10     ` Guenter Roeck
2019-09-04  8:45       ` Masahiro Yamada
2019-09-04 12:12         ` Guenter Roeck
2019-09-04 16:16           ` [usb-storage] " Matthew Dharm
2019-09-05 10:41             ` Jessica Yu
2019-09-05 10:52               ` Arnd Bergmann
2019-09-05 11:16                 ` Jessica Yu
2019-09-05 11:25                   ` Masahiro Yamada
2019-09-05 12:00                     ` Greg Kroah-Hartman
2019-09-05 11:25               ` Matthias Maennich [this message]
2019-09-04  9:37   ` [PATCH v4 00/12] Symbol Namespaces Masahiro Yamada

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