From: Jann Horn <>

SLAB_VIRTUAL is a mitigation for the SLUB allocator which prevents reuse
of virtual addresses across different slab caches and therefore makes
some types of use-after-free bugs unexploitable.

SLAB_VIRTUAL is incompatible with KASAN and we believe it's not worth
adding support for it. This is because SLAB_VIRTUAL and KASAN are aimed
at two different use cases: KASAN is meant for catching bugs as early as
possible in debug/fuzz/testing builds, and it's not meant to be used in
production. SLAB_VIRTUAL on the other hand is an exploit mitigation that
doesn't attempt to highlight bugs but instead tries to make them
unexploitable. It doesn't make sense to enable it in debugging builds or
during fuzzing, and instead we expect that it will be enabled in
production kernels.

SLAB_VIRTUAL is not currently compatible with KFENCE, removing this
limitation is future work.

Signed-off-by: Jann Horn <>
Co-developed-by: Matteo Rizzo <>
Signed-off-by: Matteo Rizzo <>
 security/Kconfig.hardening | 14 ++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 14 insertions(+)

diff --git a/security/Kconfig.hardening b/security/Kconfig.hardening
index 0f295961e773..9f4e6e38aa76 100644
--- a/security/Kconfig.hardening
+++ b/security/Kconfig.hardening
@@ -355,4 +355,18 @@ config GCC_PLUGIN_RANDSTRUCT
+       bool "Allocate slab objects from virtual memory"
+       depends on SLUB && !SLUB_TINY
+       # If KFENCE support is desired, it could be implemented on top of our
+       # virtual memory allocation facilities
+       depends on !KFENCE
+       # ASAN support will require that shadow memory is allocated
+       # appropriately.
+       depends on !KASAN
+       help
+         Allocate slab objects from kernel-virtual memory, and ensure that
+         virtual memory used as a slab cache is never reused to store
+         objects from other slab caches or non-slab data.

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