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Magic numbers

Magic numbers

Posted May 1, 2012 8:03 UTC (Tue) by mjt (guest, #1515)
In reply to: Magic numbers by man_ls
Parent article: Fixing the unfixable autofs ABI

It is not a magic number, it is sizeof(kernel packet), which turned out to be different on 32bit and 64bit. It is the unit of data kernel exchanges data with usespace, it is the protocol definition. The protocol itself wasn't designed properly, that's the whole issue.

Now, reading just 300 bytes (size of that packet on 32bit userspace) instead of 304 bytes which a 64bit kernel sent to userspace does the trick, but the pipe buffer now holds 4 bytes, which will be read by userspace as a NEW packet. Even if new packet actually arrives, for the userspace the result will be complete garbage, since the packet boundary got lost.

At any rate, no userspace trick will fix already released versions of userspace applications, which is the whole point. Yes it could be made differently, but what's done is done and we don't want to break it.


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Magic numbers

Posted May 1, 2012 18:34 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

with the new packetized interface if you read 300 bytes, the other 4 bytes are forever lost, so the next read will get the correct packet boundary.


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