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Re: [PATCH 0/59] Cleanup sysctl

To: "Eric W. Biederman" <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/59] Cleanup sysctl
From: "H. Peter Anvin" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 08:53:19 -0800
Cc: Andrew Morton <>,, Linux Containers <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In-reply-to: <>
Original-recipient: rfc822;
References: <>
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20061219)
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

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.


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