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Sanitizers and Sudo

Sudo’s build system has native support for compiling with Sanitizers when using the gcc or clang compilers. It is recommended that you use the configure options described below rather than trying to adjust the CC, CFLAGS or LDFLAGS Makefile options. Failure to do so may result in memory leak false positives.

Building sudo with sanitizer support

To build sudo with sanitizer support you must use the --enable-sanitizer configure option. This will add the -fsanitize and -fno-omit-frame-pointer compiler options in the correct places. It will also enable NO_LEAKS in config.h, which prevents some memory from being reported as leaked at exit time.

To avoid a potential crash in the crypt() C library function when ASAN is enabled, it may be necessary to statically link the sudoers policy module into the main sudo binary. Otherwise, you may see a crash from ASAN when trying to read a NULL address (this is not a bug in sudo).

For example:

$ ./configure --enable-static-sudoers --disable-shared-libutil \

By default, --enable-sanitizer will enable both Address Sanitizer (ASAN) and Undefined Behavior Sanitizer (UBSan). To enabled a specific sanitizer, pass it as argument to --enable-sanitizer. For example, to only enable ASAN:

$ ./configure --enable-static-sudoers --disable-shared-libutil \

Running sudo’s test suite with sanitizers

Sudo’s test suite is run regularly with both ASAN and UBSan enabled. You can run it yourself via:

$ make check

There should be no memory leaks or crashes reported.

Running sudo with sanitizers

A sudo binary built with sanitizer support should only be run in a test environment. Due to some sanitizers’ unchecked use of environment variables, it is trivial to exploit a set-user-ID root executable such as sudo.

A sanitizer-enabled sudo binary should run normally and not report memory leaks on exit.