correction to compat_sys_kexec_load

Eric W. Biederman ebiederm at
Fri May 23 16:14:42 EDT 2008

Sharyathi Nagesh <sharyath at> writes:

> Hi
>   While testing with kexec tool, I observed some problems. When application
> (kexec) is 32 bit and kernel is 64 bit I observed that loading crash kernel
> works without any issues but unloading crash kernel fails.
> --------------------------------------------------------
> running strace over 'kexec -u -p'
> show the problem to be with sys_kexec_load() call
> sys_kexec_load(0, 0, 0, 0x1, 0)         = -1 EINVAL (Invalid argument)
> write(2, "kexec_load (0 segments) failed: "..., 49
> kexec_load (0 segments) failed: Invalid argument
> ) = 4

Yes.  This is a bug.  Although not in the kernel implementation.

> --------------------------------------------------------
> This is patch to fix the problem, I think kernel code had a typo where in:
> if((flags & KEXEC_ARCH_MASK) == KEXEC_ARCH) was used instead of
> if((flags & KEXEC_ARCH_MASK) != KEXEC_ARCH)

Nope.  We do the latter check after we have fixed up the arguments
and call sys_kexec_load.  The check really is meant to filter out

> This patch takes care of that, I have tested the patch it worked fine for
> me. Please review the patch and let me know of your views. This patch is based
> on linux-2.6.26-rc3.

That patch as it exists is actively bad.  It removes the check for a really
nasty gotcha if someone passes in KEXEC_ARCH_DEFAULT in 32bit mode.  Code
expecting a 32bit handoff and getting a 64bit handoff will explode in fun
ways.  You happened to test the one corner case where this does not matter.

What we need to do is fix /sbin/kexec to pass in the correct
architecture of the kernel for unload as it does for load.


More information about the kexec mailing list