From: "Eric W. Biederman" <>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2022 13:26:41 -0500
Subject: [PATCH 08/12] ptrace: Document that wait_task_inactive can't fail

After ptrace_freeze_traced succeeds it is known that the the tracee
has a __state value of __TASK_TRACED and that no __ptrace_unlink will
happen because the tracer is waiting for the tracee, and the tracee is
in ptrace_stop.

The function ptrace_freeze_traced can succeed at any point after
ptrace_stop has set TASK_TRACED and dropped siglock.  The read_lock on
tasklist_lock only excludes ptrace_attach.

This means that the !current->ptrace which executes under a read_lock
of tasklist_lock will never see a ptrace_freeze_trace as the tracer
must have gone away before the tasklist_lock was taken and
ptrace_attach can not occur until the read_lock is dropped.  As
ptrace_freeze_traced depends upon ptrace_attach running before it can
run that excludes ptrace_freeze_traced until __state is set to
TASK_RUNNING.  This means that task_is_traced will fail in
ptrace_freeze_attach and ptrace_freeze_attached will fail.

On the current->ptrace branch of ptrace_stop which will be reached any
time after ptrace_freeze_traced has succeed it is known that __state
is __TASK_TRACED and schedule() will be called with that state.

Use a WARN_ON_ONCE to document that wait_task_inactive(TASK_TRACED)
should never fail.  Remove the stale comment about may_ptrace_stop.

Strictly speaking this is not true because if PREEMPT_RT is enabled
wait_task_inactive can fail because __state can be changed.  I don't
see this as a problem as the ptrace code is currently broken on
PREMPT_RT, and this is one of the issues.  Failing and warning when
the assumptions of the code are broken is good.

Signed-off-by: "Eric W. Biederman" <>
Signed-off-by: Sebastian Andrzej Siewior <>
 kernel/ptrace.c |   14 +++-----------
 1 file changed, 3 insertions(+), 11 deletions(-)

--- a/kernel/ptrace.c
+++ b/kernel/ptrace.c
@@ -266,17 +266,9 @@ static int ptrace_check_attach(struct ta
-	if (!ret && !ignore_state) {
-		if (!wait_task_inactive(child, __TASK_TRACED)) {
-			/*
-			 * This can only happen if may_ptrace_stop() fails and
-			 * ptrace_stop() changes ->state back to TASK_RUNNING,
-			 * so we should not worry about leaking __TASK_TRACED.
-			 */
-			WARN_ON(READ_ONCE(child->__state) == __TASK_TRACED);
-			ret = -ESRCH;
-		}
-	}
+	if (!ret && !ignore_state &&
+	    WARN_ON_ONCE(!wait_task_inactive(child, __TASK_TRACED)))
+		ret = -ESRCH;
 	return ret;