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Author vstinner
Recipients gregory.p.smith, izbyshev, kevans, koobs, nanjekyejoannah, pablogsal, serhiy.storchaka, vstinner
Date 2019-01-24.11:03:21
SpamBayes Score -1.0
Marked as misclassified Yes
Message-id <>
I discussed the following issue with Florian Weimer (who works on the glibc):
$ cat test.c
#include <spawn.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[], char *envp[]) {
    return posix_spawn(0, "non-existing", 0, 0, argv, envp);

$ aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc -static test.c
$ qemu-aarch64 ./a.out
$ echo $?

While the parent gets a "success", in subprocess we get the pid and later read the exit status of the child process. Even if posix_spawn() doesn't report a failure, waitpid() will still report a failure. It's a subtle behavior change. I'm not sure yet if it's acceptable for Python in term of semantics:

* without posix_spawn(), subprocess.Popen constructor raises FileNotFoundError: the parent knows that the execution failed because the program doesn't exist
* with posix_spawn() with the vfork bug, subprocess.Popen succeed but Popen.wait() returns something like exit code 127. The parent doesn't know if the child process explcitly used exit(127) or if execv() failed.

Does the difference matters? The bug only occurs in some very specific cases:

* QEMU User Emulation

Are these use cases common enough to block the whole idea of using posix_spawn() on Linux. I don't think so. I really want to use posix_spawn() for best performances! Moreover, I expect that glibc implementation of posix_spawn() is safer than Python _posixsubprocess. The glibc has access to low-level stuff like it's internal signals, cancellation points, etc. _posixsubprocess is more generic and doesn't worry about such low-level stuff, whereas they might cause bad surprised.
Date User Action Args
2019-01-24 11:03:23vstinnersetrecipients: + vstinner, gregory.p.smith, serhiy.storchaka, koobs, izbyshev, pablogsal, nanjekyejoannah, kevans
2019-01-24 11:03:21vstinnersetmessageid: <>
2019-01-24 11:03:21vstinnerlinkissue35537 messages
2019-01-24 11:03:21vstinnercreate