RFR(s): 8171508: Multiple issues with os::jvm_path

Thomas Stüfe thomas.stuefe at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 15:20:30 UTC 2016

Hi all,

I would like your reviews for the following issue:

issue: https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8171508

I found that we had forgotten to port -XXaltjvm handling to AIX (needed for
gtests). -XXaltjvm is used to run the jvm with a different hotspot. The
option gets used in the gtestLauncher to hand it a jdk located separately
from gtest libjvm.

When looking at the code a number of issues came up and I decided to fix
them first before porting the code to AIX.

The main issue I found is that realpath() was used in an unsafe way. Before
POSIX.1-2008, realpath() was broken by design, because there was no safe
way to prevent the output buffer from overflowing. The function returns a
path, but there is no sure way to predict the maximum path length.

POSIX1.2008 fixed this by specifying that if the output buffer argument was
NULL, the function would return the path in dynamically allocated memory
which the user would have to free().

Before POSIX1.2008, if the output buffer argument was NULL, the behaviour
was left up to the implementators by POSIX; I believe that on Linux and
BSD, the behaviour was always to return dynamically allocated memory.

I hope it is safe to assume that the POSIX1.2008 behaviour is the standard
now for our Posix platforms. My fix wraps realpath() with a new function
os::Posix::realpath() which uses the new Posix behaviour.

See also:
Pre POSIX1.2008:
(see Rationale section below)

Other issues this change fixes:

- There is a logic trying to determine if the path of the loaded libjvm.so
points to a valid JDK image by searching for "/jre/lib". That logic was
broken after JDK-8066474 "Remove the lib/$ARCH directory from Linux and
Solaris images".
- At some places return codes of realpath() were not checked.
- At other places error conditions were asserted, but not handled in the
release case.

Please note that I tried to keep the change minimal. The code would benefit
from a cleanup in a future release. I only fixed obvious issues, and
refrained from any unnecessary changes.

I built the changes on Solaris, Linux and MacOS. I tested on all platforms
simply by letting the gtestLauncher run, which executes the -XXaltjvm code

The realpath issue may be security related, but the severity depends on how
large PATH_MAX is on the build platform compared to the maximum possible
path length one would see on filesystems at target systems. I would like to
see this fixed in jdk 9 but that decision is up to Oracle.

Thanks & Kind Regards, Thomas

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