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CHROMIUM: mmap, sysctl: add sysctl for controlling VM_MAYEXEC taint

This patch proposes a sysctl knob that allows a privileged user to
disable ~VM_MAYEXEC tainting when mapping in a vma from a MNT_NOEXEC
mountpoint.  It does not alter the normal behavior resulting from
attempting to directly mmap(PROT_EXEC) a vma (-EPERM) nor the behavior
of any other subsystems checking MNT_NOEXEC.

It is motivated by a common /dev/shm, /tmp usecase. There are few
facilities for creating a shared memory segment that can be remapped in
the same process address space with different permissions.  Often, a
file in /tmp provides this functionality.  However, on distributions
that are more restrictive/paranoid, world-writeable directories are
often mounted "noexec".  The only workaround to support software that
needs this behavior is to either not use that software or remount /tmp
exec.  (E.g.,  Given that
the only recourse is using SysV IPC, the application programmer loses
many of the useful ABI features that they get using a mmap'd file.

With this patch, it would be possible to change the sysctl variable
such that mprotect(PROT_EXEC) would succeed.  In cases like the example
above, an additional userspace mmap-wrapper would be needed, but in
other cases, like how mmap()s then
mprotect()s, the behavior would be unaffected.

The tradeoff is a loss of defense in depth, but it seems reasonable when
the alternative is frequently to disable the defense entirely.

(There are many other ways to approach this problem, but this seemed to
 be the most practical and feel the least like a hack or a major change.)

Signed-off-by: Will Drewry <>

TEST=built x86, booted,
     ran sysctl -w vm.mmap_noexec_taint=0
     run mmap_tester.c from issue such that it uses mprotect.

Change-Id: I1e13adc0d9e8fdb1a0027a2e715557f4aff1b283
Reviewed-by: <>
Reviewed-by: Roland McGrath <>
Reviewed-by: Mandeep Singh Baines <>
Tested-by: Will Drewry <>
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1 parent e5c9a6c commit a3dc5f4a0272e0d2618d583ebdbdbd3747fd31af @redpig redpig committed Aug 15, 2011
Showing with 32 additions and 1 deletion.
  1. +12 −0 kernel/sysctl.c
  2. +17 −0 mm/Kconfig
  3. +3 −1 mm/mmap.c
12 kernel/sysctl.c
@@ -88,6 +88,9 @@
/* External variables not in a header file. */
extern int sysctl_overcommit_memory;
extern int sysctl_overcommit_ratio;
+#ifdef CONFIG_MMU
+extern int sysctl_mmap_noexec_taint;
extern int max_threads;
extern int core_uses_pid;
extern int suid_dumpable;
@@ -1279,6 +1282,15 @@ static struct ctl_table vm_table[] = {
.mode = 0644,
.proc_handler = mmap_min_addr_handler,
+ {
+ .procname = "mmap_noexec_taint",
+ .data = &sysctl_mmap_noexec_taint,
+ .maxlen = sizeof(unsigned long),
+ .mode = 0644,
+ .proc_handler = proc_dointvec_minmax,
+ .extra1 = &zero,
+ .extra2 = &one,
+ },
17 mm/Kconfig
@@ -256,6 +256,23 @@ config DEFAULT_MMAP_MIN_ADDR
This value can be changed after boot using the
/proc/sys/vm/mmap_min_addr tunable.
+ int "Turns on tainting of mmap()d files from noexec mountpoints"
+ depends on MMU
+ default 1
+ help
+ By default, the ability to change the protections of a virtual
+ memory area to allow execution depend on if the vma has the
+ VM_MAYEXEC flag. When mapping regions from files, VM_MAYEXEC
+ will be unset if the containing mountpoint is mounted MNT_NOEXEC.
+ By setting the value to 0, any mmap()d region may be later
+ mprotect()d with PROT_EXEC.
+ If unsure, keep the value set to 1.
+ This value can be changed after boot using the
+ /proc/sys/vm/mmap_noexec_taint tunable.
4 mm/mmap.c
@@ -87,6 +87,7 @@ EXPORT_SYMBOL(vm_get_page_prot);
int sysctl_overcommit_memory = OVERCOMMIT_GUESS; /* heuristic overcommit */
int sysctl_overcommit_ratio = 50; /* default is 50% */
int sysctl_max_map_count __read_mostly = DEFAULT_MAX_MAP_COUNT;
+int sysctl_mmap_noexec_taint __read_mostly = CONFIG_MMAP_NOEXEC_TAINT;
struct percpu_counter vm_committed_as;
@@ -1076,7 +1077,8 @@ unsigned long do_mmap_pgoff(struct file *file, unsigned long addr,
if (file->f_path.mnt->mnt_flags & MNT_NOEXEC) {
if (vm_flags & VM_EXEC)
return -EPERM;
- vm_flags &= ~VM_MAYEXEC;
+ if (sysctl_mmap_noexec_taint)
+ vm_flags &= ~VM_MAYEXEC;
if (!file->f_op || !file->f_op->mmap)

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