Is there any good reason for not having -zrelro be the default
for the linker, so that every system library can benefit without
having to modify every package's makefile?
Created attachment 437882 [details]
Make -zrelro the default
This is the patch I wrote for the openSUSE binutils
-z relro has a runtime cost (up to a page per object per process wasted (to align end of PT_GNU_RELRO subsegment on page boundary and that is all writable memory) plus a mprotect syscall per object/process). It has obvious benefits too (security wise), but it isn't for free.
(In reply to comment #2)
I realize it isn't free, and that's why it should always be disable-able.
But, security wise, I'm suggesting that it should be the _default_.
(In reply to comment #2)
> -z relro has a runtime cost (up to a page per object per process wasted (to
> align end of PT_GNU_RELRO subsegment on page boundary and that is all writable
> memory) plus a mprotect syscall per object/process). It has obvious benefits
> too (security wise), but it isn't for free.
Wow, this does not look good. On an average desktop, it would be a few mbytes of wasted memory.
For what it's worth, I believe partial relro is already being enabled by default for all packages from F16 onward, so this would only change anything for programs that people compile themselves.
I have decided to go ahead and add this patch to the current rawhide binutils ( binutils-184.108.40.206.1-7.fc18). In the end I think that security wins out over package size, especially given that the old behaviour can be restored via a command line switch.
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