CS 451 / 551 Homework 2 solution




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1. You have built a library based on your solution to prj2 (../../projects/prj2/prj2.html>) and your library
has many users who access your library implementation using the interface defined in
matrix_mul.h. Your users are happy with your library except for its error reporting; they find that
the single int code returned via the err pointer does not provide sufficient information. They
would like to get back a string error message which provides a detailed context-sensitive explanation
for the error.
You have also fixed a bug in your library. You create a new version of your library which contains
the bug fix and also provides access to string error messages. What changes would you make to the
library interface and implementation to meet the following constraints:
Users who are not interested in string errors but are interested in your bug fix should be able get
access to your bug fix by simply relinking their client code with the new version of your library
without needing to change their source code.
Users who are interested in string errors will make changes to their source code and relink with
the new version of your library.
Some users have client code which have multiple MatrixMul objects live at the same time.
This question deals only with the interface changes you need to make to satisfy the above constraints.
It does not deal with the implementation of multiple worker processes, pipes, etc. 10-points
2. A parent process creates N interchangeable resources which are to be shared among the parent and
its descendent processes. A resource is referenced by its index 0, …, (N-1). When a process
needs a resource, it needs exclusive access to the resource. How would you design a resource
manager for these N resources using pipes as your only IPC mechanism. You may assume that N is
small (around 4). Clearly document any other assumptions in your design. 10-points
3. Assuming that function and data pointers have the same representation, what would you expect the
following function to return on a typical Unix system.
char c;
int f() {
void *fP = &f;
void *cP = &c;
return ((cP < (void *)&cP)<<1) + (fP < (void *)&fP);
Please remember to justify your answer. 10-points
4. Multiple processes need to send messages to a single process via a single shared pipe. It is possible
that the size of a single message exceeds PIPE_BUF bytes. Design a protocol to be followed by the
reading process and writing processes so that messages can be sent correctly even though the writing
processes may be writing concurrently to the pipe. 10-points
5. When you inherit a legacy application which does user authentication using passwords, you are
horrified to find that user passwords are hashed using the insecure MD5 algorithm and stored in a
relational database. You explain the seriousness of the problem to your manager. You suggest a fix
which requires each user to change their password so that their new password can be hashed using a
secure Blowfish hash. Your manager rejects your fix as it is too obtrusive for users; in fact, she says
that she will reject any solution which involves user involvement.
Describe how you would change the application so that all user passwords are protected using
Blowfish without requiring users to change their passwords. Note that you cannot get access to the
users’ plaintext passwords. 10-points
6. Assume that a process with real, effective and saved set-user ID 1000 performs the following
sequence of steps:
a) Successfully exec’s a non-setuid program.
b) Successfully exec’s a setuid program owned by UID 2000.
c) Calls setuid(2000).
d) Calls seteuid(1000).
e) Calls setreuid(1000, 2000).
f) Calls setreuid(1000, 1000).
Give the values of the real, effective and saved set-user-ID after each of the above steps. Please
justify your answers. 10-points
7. User u1 belongs to primary group g1 and supplementary group g2, and user u2 belongs only to
primary group g2. Neither u1 nor u2 are super-users, nor do they belong to any supplementary
groups other than those explicitly listed above. Given the following ls -l listing:
-rwxr-xr-x 1 u2 g2 14096 Sep 8 22:11 exec1
-rwsr–r-x 1 u1 g1 44096 Sep 25 11:16 exec2
-rw—-rw- 1 u2 g2 4012 Sep 23 03:10 data1
-rw-r–r– 1 u1 g1 8222 Sep 8 14:23 data2
fill in the following matrix with a Y, N or – depending on whether the execution specified by the row
can (Y) or cannot (N) make the access specified by the column (R denotes read, W denotes write), or
such access does not make sense (-).
data1 R data1 W data2 R data2 W
u1 runs exec1
u2 runs exec1
u1 runs exec2
u2 runs exec2
Please justify your answers. 10-points
8. How would you set up N processes with a ring communication structure with all IPC handled using
anonymous pipes. Specifically, if the processes are P[0], P[1], P[N – 1], then P[i] should be
able to send data to P[(i + 1)%N]. Your answer should detail exactly how you would create pipes
(including closing of unneeded pipe ends). You can make your answer concrete by detailing the exact
steps needed for N == 4. 10-points
9. The text explains that all the other exec() functions are layered on top of execve() (pg. 567); i.e.
all the other exec() functions are implemented using it as a primitive. Of the 6 exec() functions,
is execve() the only choice as a primitive or could another exec() function be chosen as a
primitive for implementing the rest? 10-points
10. Discuss the validity of the following statements: 10-points
a) It is a good idea to close pipe file descriptors when they are no longer needed since a process is
limited to a certain maximum number of open file descriptors.
b) If a user with a particular user id creates a file and the permissions/ownership on that file are
never changed, then that user can also remove the file.
c) The user and group ownership of a new file is always set to the effective uid and gid of the
process which created it.
d) If a process has execute access to a directory, then it can search that directory.
e) Once a process exec’s a setuid program it will always run with an effective uid equal to that of
the owner of the program.