Obscure crashes due to gcc 4.9 -O2 => -fisolate-erroneous-paths-dereference

Joel Sherrill joel.sherrill at oarcorp.com
Wed Feb 18 20:25:26 UTC 2015


On 2/18/2015 2:05 PM, Gedare Bloom wrote:
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 2:38 PM, Joel Sherrill
> <joel.sherrill at oarcorp.com <mailto:joel.sherrill at oarcorp.com>> wrote:
>
>     Hi
>
>     I am trying to wrap my head around this discussion and its
>     impact on RTEMS. Should we compile parts of RTEMS with
>     this option? All of it?
>
> A bit more context would have helped! S

Sorry. This was the first I had seen of this option and I really didn't
have
much context besides "this looks like it could break code".
> o basically, gcc can now optimize out NULL pointer accesses and turn
> them into traps directly? And this is a problem for targets that have
> a valid address at 0x0. One solution is to turn on the flag
> "-fno-delete-null-pointer-checks"?
>
Yep. But if all we have is writeable vector tables at 0x0, then it MIGHT be
ok. GCC may not be able to detect.  But on the m68k's without a VBR
register the table is always at 0x0.
> I guess we should identify which BSPs this would affect, that is,
> which ones are allowed to make valid memory accesses at 0x0, and then
> turn off the optimization for those BSPs?
>
It might not just be BSPs, but architectures.  Running code at 0x0 should be
OK since that would likely be the start code. You would never indirectly
jump through it.

Reading/writing data at 0 is the issue.

I really have no idea if/how this impacts anything but wanted us all to
think on it.
> Gedare
>
>
>  
>
>     --joel
>
>
>     -------- Forwarded Message --------
>     Subject: 	Re: Obscure crashes due to gcc 4.9 -O2 =>
>     -fisolate-erroneous-paths-dereference
>     Date: 	Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:30:24 -0600
>     From: 	Andrew Pinski <pinskia at gmail.com> <mailto:pinskia at gmail.com>
>     To: 	Jeff Prothero <jprother at altera.com> <mailto:jprother at altera.com>
>     CC: 	GCC Mailing List <gcc at gcc.gnu.org> <mailto:gcc at gcc.gnu.org>
>
>
>
>     On Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 11:21 AM, Jeff Prothero <jprother at altera.com> <mailto:jprother at altera.com> wrote:
>     >
>     > Starting with gcc 4.9, -O2 implicitly invokes
>     >
>     >     -fisolate-erroneous-paths-dereference:
>     >
>     > which
>     >
>     >     https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/Optimize-Options.html
>     >
>     > documents as
>     >
>     >     Detect paths that trigger erroneous or undefined behavior due to
>     >     dereferencing a null pointer. Isolate those paths from the main control
>     >     flow and turn the statement with erroneous or undefined behavior into a
>     >     trap. This flag is enabled by default at -O2 and higher.
>     >
>     > This results in a sizable number of previously working embedded programs mysteriously
>     > crashing when recompiled under gcc 4.9.  The problem is that embedded
>     > programs will often have ram starting at address zero (think hardware-defined
>     > interrupt vectors, say) which gets initialized by code which the
>     > -fisolate-erroneous-paths-deference logic can recognize as reading and/or
>     > writing address zero.
>
>     You should have used -fno-delete-null-pointer-checks which has been
>     doing this optimization for a long time now, just it got better with
>     -fisolate-erroneous-paths-dereference pass.
>
>     Thanks,
>     Andrew Pinski
>
>
>
>     >
>     > What happens then is that the previously running program compiles without
>     > any warnings, but then typically locks up mysteriously (often disabling the
>     > remote debug link) due to the trap not being gracefully handled by the
>     > embedded runtime.
>     >
>     > Granted, such code is out-of-spec wrt to C standards.
>     >
>     > None the less, the problem is quite painful to track down and
>     > unexpected.
>     >
>     > Is there any good reason the
>     >
>     >     -fisolate-erroneous-paths-dereference
>     >
>     > logic could not issue a compiletime warning or error, instead of just
>     > silently generating code virtually certain to crash at runtime?
>     >
>     > Such a warning/error would save a lot of engineers significant amounts
>     > of time, energy and frustration tracking down this problem.
>     >
>     > I would like to think that the spirit of gcc is about helping engineers
>     > efficiently correct nonstandard pain, rather than inflicting maximal
>     > pain upon engineers violating C standards.  :-)
>     >
>     > -Jeff
>     >
>     > BTW, I'd also be curious to know what is regarded as engineering best
>     > practice for writing a value to address zero when this is architecturally
>     > required by the hardware platform at hand.  Obviously one can do various
>     > things to obscure the process sufficiently that the current gcc implementation
>     > won't detect it and complain, but as gcc gets smarter about optimization
>     > those are at risk of failing in a future release.  It would be nice to have
>     > a guaranteed-to-work future-proof idiom for doing this. Do we have one, short
>     > of retreating to assembly code?
>
>
>
>
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>
>

-- 
Joel Sherrill, Ph.D.             Director of Research & Development
joel.sherrill at OARcorp.com        On-Line Applications Research
Ask me about RTEMS: a free RTOS  Huntsville AL 35805
Support Available                (256) 722-9985

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