On 2017-11-09 12:55:30 -0500, Robert Haas wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 12:49 PM, Andres Freund <and...@anarazel.de> wrote:
> > Occasionally, when debugging issues, I find it quite useful to be able
> > to do a heap_page_items() on a page that's actually locked exclusively
> > concurrently. E.g. investigating the recent multixact vacuuming issues,
> > it was very useful to attach a debugger to one backend to step through
> > freezing, and display the page in another session.
> >
> > Currently the locking in get_raw_page_internal() prevents that.  If it's
> > an option defaulting to off, I don't see why we couldn't allow that to
> > skip locking the page's contents. Obviously you can get corrupted
> > contents that way, but we already allow to pass arbitrary stuff to
> > heap_page_items().  Since pinning wouldn't be changed, there's no danger
> > of the page being moved out from under us.
> heap_page_items() is, if I remember correctly, not necessarily going
> to tolerate malformed input very well - I think that's why we restrict
> all of these functions to superusers.  So using it in this way would
> seem to increase the risk of a server crash or other horrible
> misbehavior.  Of course if we're just dev-testing that doesn't really
> matter.

You can already pass arbitrary byteas to heap_page_items(), so I don't
see how this'd change anything exposure-wise? Or are you thinking that
users would continually do this with actual page contents and would be
more likely to hit edge cases than if using pg_read_binary_file() or
such (which obviously sees an out of date page)?


Andres Freund

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