Page Table Check Feature Merged For Linux 5.17 To Help Fight Memory Corruption

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 16 January 2022 at 05:34 AM EST. 8 Comments
Merged into Linux 5.17 this weekend is the Google-developed Page Table Check feature that can help combat some forms of memory corruption.

Google engineers last year uncovered a reference count underflow issue in the kernel that affected all kernel releases going back to Linux 4.14 four years prior. Stemming from uncovering that issue, Google engineers came up with Page Table Check to help uncover issues like that moving forward. The Page Table Check feature is principally about ensuring there is no illegal sharing of pages such as one process accidentally (or otherwise) leaking to another process.

Due to the run-time performance costs involved, the Linux 5.17+ kernel needs to be built with the PAGE_TABLE_CHECK=y option and then booting the built kernel with the "page_table_check=on" parameter to actually enable the functionality.

The Page Table Check feature has been merged and ready to go for Linux 5.17.
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