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Re: [PATCH 0/59] Cleanup sysctl

To: "Eric W. Biederman" <ebiederm@xmission.com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/59] Cleanup sysctl
From: "H. Peter Anvin" <hpa@zytor.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 08:53:19 -0800
Cc: Andrew Morton <akpm@osdl.org>, linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org, Linux Containers <containers@lists.osdl.org>, netdev@vger.kernel.org, xfs-masters@oss.sgi.com, xfs@oss.sgi.com, linux-scsi@vger.kernel.org, James.Bottomley@SteelEye.com, minyard@acm.org, openipmi-developer@lists.sourceforge.net, tony.luck@intel.com, linux-mips@linux-mips.org, ralf@linux-mips.org, schwidefsky@de.ibm.com, heiko.carstens@de.ibm.com, linux390@de.ibm.com, linux-390@vm.marist.edu, paulus@samba.org, linuxppc-dev@ozlabs.org, lethal@linux-sh.org, linuxsh-shmedia-dev@lists.sourceforge.net, ak@suse.de, vojtech@suse.cz, clemens@ladisch.de, a.zummo@towertech.it, rtc-linux@googlegroups.com, linux-parport@lists.infradead.org, andrea@suse.de, tim@cyberelk.net, philb@gnu.org, aharkes@cs.cmu.edu, coda@cs.cmu.edu, codalist@TELEMANN.coda.cs.cmu.edu, aia21@cantab.net, linux-ntfs-dev@lists.sourceforge.net, mark.fasheh@oracle.com, kurt.hackel@oracle.com
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Eric W. Biederman wrote:

- Removal of sys_sysctl support where people had used conflicting sysctl
  numbers. Trying to break glibc or other applications by changing the
  ABI is not cool.  9 instances of this in the kernel seems a little
  extreme.


It would be highly advantageous if we could have a file that acts as a central registry of architectural sysctl numbers *and have the numbers in the kernel derived from there*. As I've said before, I don't really think sys_sysctl is any worse than ad hoc system calls (sys_mips and the like), but the real problem is that there are architectural and non-archtectural numbers, and they're mixed in all over the place.

I think it would be fair to say that if they're not in <linux/sysctl.h> they're not architectural, but that doesn't resolve the counterpositive (are there sysctls in <linux/sysctl.h> which aren't architectural? From the looks of it, I would say yes.) Non-architectural sysctl numbers should not be exported to userspace, and should eventually be rejected by sys_sysctl.

        -hpa

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