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cmd/cgo: []byte argument has Go pointer to Go pointer #28606

crawshaw opened this issue Nov 6, 2018 · 6 comments

cmd/cgo: []byte argument has Go pointer to Go pointer #28606

crawshaw opened this issue Nov 6, 2018 · 6 comments


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@crawshaw crawshaw commented Nov 6, 2018

With Go 1.11 and HEAD: go version devel +a2a3dd00c9 Thu Sep 13 09:52:57 2018 +0000 darwin/amd64, the following program:

package main

// void f(void* ptr) {}
import "C"

import (

type cgoWriter struct{}

func (cgoWriter) Write(p []byte) (int, error) {
	ptr := unsafe.Pointer(&p[0])
	return 0, nil

func main() {
	w := cgoWriter{}
	gzw := gzip.NewWriter(w)
	gzw.Close() // calls cgoWriter.Write


panic: runtime error: cgo argument has Go pointer to Go pointer

goroutine 1 [running]:
	/Users/crawshaw/junk.go:15 +0x48
main.cgoWriter.Write(0xc00015e020, 0x1, 0xf8, 0xc0000b1e50, 0x4027ff1, 0x40dad60)
	/Users/crawshaw/junk.go:15 +0x35
compress/flate.(*huffmanBitWriter).write(0xc00015e000, 0xc00015e020, 0x1, 0xf8)
	/Users/crawshaw/go/go/src/compress/flate/huffman_bit_writer.go:136 +0x5f
	/Users/crawshaw/go/go/src/compress/flate/huffman_bit_writer.go:128 +0xb7
compress/flate.(*huffmanBitWriter).writeStoredHeader(0xc00015e000, 0x0, 0x1)
	/Users/crawshaw/go/go/src/compress/flate/huffman_bit_writer.go:412 +0x63
compress/flate.(*compressor).close(0xc0000ba000, 0x0, 0xc0000a62b0)
	/Users/crawshaw/go/go/src/compress/flate/deflate.go:647 +0x83
compress/flate.(*Writer).Close(0xc0000ba000, 0x0, 0x0)
	/Users/crawshaw/go/go/src/compress/flate/deflate.go:729 +0x2d
compress/gzip.(*Writer).Close(0xc0000a6210, 0x419bf30, 0xc0000a6210)
	/Users/crawshaw/go/go/src/compress/gzip/gzip.go:242 +0x6e
	/Users/crawshaw/junk.go:22 +0x47

I suspect (but cannot yet show that) this is related to the fact that gzip.Writer is passing a []byte to the Write method made out of an array field of the gzip.Writer struct.

@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor changed the title runtime/cgo: []byte argument has Go pointer to Go pointer cmd/cgo: []byte argument has Go pointer to Go pointer Nov 6, 2018
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@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor commented Nov 6, 2018

cgo isn't clever enough to look at where the arguments are coming from. It should work if you write it as

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@Elbertbiggs360 Elbertbiggs360 commented Nov 20, 2019

Hi @ianlancetaylor . Is this something that does not need to be addressed anymore? If so, can we close the issue. If not, I would love to pick it up as a first issue

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@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor commented Nov 20, 2019

As far as I know, this still happens. The program above still fails in the same way.

If you want to look at this, that would be great. But I want to caution you that I don't think this will be easy to fix. At the moment I don't really see how to fix it at all.

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@Elbertbiggs360 Elbertbiggs360 commented Nov 20, 2019

Awesome. I'm delighted to investigate it and try some options. Reproducing it first..

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@Elbertbiggs360 Elbertbiggs360 commented Jan 25, 2020

@ianlancetaylor sorry I have been unavailable for a while due to some unforeseen circumstances.
Up until now,

  • I tested out the code and confirmed behaviour
  • I have gone through the unsafe documentation as well as the gzip documentation.
    I observed a note during pointer conversion that said
Note that both conversions must appear in the same expression, with only the intervening arithmetic between them:

That would explain why this is able to work just fine as you mentioned earlier when the expressions are combined.
What I intend to do within the next 3 days

  • Go through the cgo documentation and implementation.

I would love to also look at how the type conversion is implemented. Can you point me in any direction of where this is? Thanks

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@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor commented Jan 25, 2020

The relevant code here is cmd/cgo/gcc.go, around the method rewriteCall.

I don't think there is going to be any simple fix here. I think that fixing this will require a significant change to how the cgo tool works.

@ALTree ALTree removed the Suggested label Jul 22, 2020
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