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OSDI '06 Abstract

Pp. 4560 of the Proceedings

SafeDrive: Safe and Recoverable Extensions Using Language-Based Techniques

Feng Zhou, Jeremy Condit, Zachary Anderson, and Ilya Bagrak, University of California, Berkeley; Rob Ennals, Intel Research Berkeley; Matthew Harren, George Necula, and Eric Brewer, University of California, Berkeley


We present SafeDrive, a system for detecting and recovering from type safety violations in software extensions. SafeDrive has low overhead and requires minimal changes to existing source code. To achieve this result, SafeDrive uses a novel type system that provides fine-grained isolation for existing extensions written in C. In addition, SafeDrive tracks invariants using simple wrappers for the host system API and restores them when recovering from a violation. This approach achieves fine-grained memory error detection and recovery with few code changes and at a significantly lower performance cost than existing solutions based on hardware-enforced domains, such as Nooks, L4, and Xen, or software-enforced domains, such as SFI. The principles used in SafeDrive can be applied to any large system with loadable, error-prone extension modules.

In this paper we describe our experience using SafeDrive for protection and recovery of a variety of Linux device drivers. In order to apply SafeDrive to these device drivers, we had to change less than 4% of the source code. SafeDrive recovered from all 44 crashes due to injected faults in a network card driver. In experiments with 6 different drivers, we observed increases in kernel CPU utilization of 423% with no noticeable degradation in end-to-end performance.

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Last changed: 23 April 2007 ac