Allow ARG_MAX execve string space even with a small stack limit
authorLinus Torvalds <>
Mon, 3 Mar 2008 18:12:14 +0000 (10:12 -0800)
committerLinus Torvalds <>
Mon, 3 Mar 2008 18:12:14 +0000 (10:12 -0800)
The new code that removed the limitation on the execve string size
(which was historically 32 pages) replaced it with a much softer limit
based on RLIMIT_STACK which is usually much larger than the traditional
limit.  See commit b6a2fea39318e43fee84fa7b0b90d68bed92d2ba ("mm:
variable length argument support") for details.

However, if you have a small stack limit (perhaps because you need lots
of stacks in a threaded environment), the new heuristic of allowing up
to 1/4th of RLIMIT_STACK to be used for argument and environment strings
could actually be smaller than the old limit.

So just say that it's ok to have up to ARG_MAX strings regardless of the
value of RLIMIT_STACK, and check the rlimit only when going over that
traditional limit.

(Of course, if you actually have a *really* small stack limit, the whole
stack itself will be limited before you hit ARG_MAX, but that has always
been true and is clearly the right behaviour anyway).

Acked-by: Carlos O'Donell <>
Cc: Michael Kerrisk <>
Cc: Peter Zijlstra <>
Cc: Ollie Wild <>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <>

index a44b142fb4607baee2d832b1056103b5d157e5a7..54a0a557b6781ecf379015bbd60dc6f3fd37c176 100644 (file)
--- a/fs/exec.c
+++ b/fs/exec.c
@@ -173,8 +173,15 @@ static struct page *get_arg_page(struct linux_binprm *bprm, unsigned long pos,
                return NULL;
        if (write) {
-               struct rlimit *rlim = current->signal->rlim;
                unsigned long size = bprm->vma->vm_end - bprm->vma->vm_start;
+               struct rlimit *rlim;
+               /*
+                * We've historically supported up to 32 pages (ARG_MAX)
+                * of argument strings even with small stacks
+                */
+               if (size <= ARG_MAX)
+                       return page;
                 * Limit to 1/4-th the stack size for the argv+env strings.
@@ -183,6 +190,7 @@ static struct page *get_arg_page(struct linux_binprm *bprm, unsigned long pos,
                 *  - the program will have a reasonable amount of stack left
                 *    to work from.
+               rlim = current->signal->rlim;
                if (size > rlim[RLIMIT_STACK].rlim_cur / 4) {
                        return NULL;