This is the section of disassembled code in question. It’s from a Linux kernel module compiled for 4.4.16 on ARMv7.

  ; Registers used:
  ;  - r3 :  unsigned long argp

0000005c         mov        r1, sp
00000060         bic        r2, r1, #0x1fc0
00000064         bic        r2, r2, #0x3f
00000068         ldr        r4, [r2, #0x8]
0000006c         adds       r1, r3, #0x1
00000070         sbcslo     r1, r1, r4
00000074         movlo      r4, #0x0
00000078         cmp        r4, #0x0
0000007c         bne        loc_dc

The stack at this point looks like this:

00  <- SP
04  [padding]
07  u8 arg_kernel
08  pushed[r4]
0c  pushed[r5]
10  pushed[r6]
14  pushed[lr]
18  <Previous SP>

Here’s how I decoded this assembly into pseudo-C:

r4 = *(SP & 0xe000 + 8);
r1 = argp + 1;

if (r1 overflowed) {
    r1 -= r4;
    r4 = 0;

if (r4 == 0) {
  /* jump */

If I got this right, I don’t really understand the purpose of this code. If I made a mistake, I really don’t understand it. Can anyone offer any insight into the purpose of these operations?

1 Answer 1


Your translation is wrong. The two BIC instructions clear the 13 low bits of the stack pointer (1FC0|3F = 1FFF). In kernel mode, this produces a pointer to the thread_info structure for the current thread.

The ldr then reads the field at offset 8 in it which seems to be addr_limit and r3+1 apparently should not exceed it.

Combined, the code matches this helper from uaccess.h:

#define __range_ok(addr, size) ({ \
    unsigned long flag, roksum; \
    __chk_user_ptr(addr);   \
    __asm__("adds %1, %2, %3; sbcccs %1, %1, %0; movcc %0, #0" \
        : "=&r" (flag), "=&r" (roksum) \
        : "r" (addr), "Ir" (size), "0" (current_thread_info()->addr_limit) \
        : "cc"); \
    flag; })

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