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Re: [Xen-devel] Xen PV PTE ABI (or lack thereof)

On 21/01/16 11:07, Jan Beulich wrote:
>>>> On 20.01.16 at 21:10, <andrew.cooper3@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> First of all, SMEP and SMAP.  32bit PV guests are subject to Xen's
>> SMEP/SMAP choices, because of running in ring 1.
>> SMAP in particular is problematic because older Linux guests do fall
>> foul of it; they don't understand what a SMAP pagefault is, and enter an
>> infinite loop of pagefaults.  SMEP is also problematic because it breaks
>> any guest wishing to use a shared address space between kernel and
>> user.  (I had some fun getting the test framework to function until I
>> twigged what was happening).
>> Both of these are regressions; older guests relying on existing
>> behaviour cease to function on newer hardware/Xen despite identical
>> settings.
> And for both of them there simply should be a way for the guest to
> state whether it's compatible (which should be the case for anything
> we can't deal with completely transparently to guests).
>> For the PTE bits, _PAGE_GNTTAB (bit 62) is used exclusively in debug
>> build (so there is a guest observable difference between running on a
>> debug and a non-debug Xen), and the comment beside it even identifies
>> that it breaks BSD guests.  PTE bits 62:59 used by hardware if  CR4.PKE
>> is set.  Currently this means that we are not able to support Protection
>> Key for PV guests (although this restriction technically only applies to
>> debug builds of the hypervisor).
>> The other PTE bit used by Xen is _PAGE_GUEST_KERNEL (bit 52).  This bit
>> is used to notice when a 64bit PV guest attempts to override the fixup
>> Xen applies to its PTEs.  Xen unilaterally sets _PAGE_GLOBAL for user
>> pages, and clears _PAGE_GLOBAL for supervisor mappings, setting
>> _PAGE_USER in both cases as the PV kernel runs in ring3.  The only thing
>> _PAGE_GUEST_KERNEL is used for is to notice when the kernel deliberately
>> tries to create a _PAGE_GUEST_KERNEL|_PAGE_GLOBAL, at which point a
>> warning is logged and the kernel overridden.
>> Neither of the used PTE bits exist in the Xen public ABI.  Neither of
>> them serve a purpose other than a debugging aid.
>> I propose hiding them behind CONFIG_PV_PTE_DEBUG and declaring an ABI of
>> "all bits available for guest use".
> And a kernel using any of the conflicting bits would then become
> unusable on a hypervisor with that debug option enabled? I'd
> rather see us document the state things are in...

_PAGE_GNTMAP is already states:

 * Debug option: Ensure that granted mappings are not implicitly unmapped.
 * WARNING: This will need to be disabled to run OSes that use the spare PTE
 * bits themselves (e.g., *BSD).

I was intending to have CONFIG_PV_PTE_DEBUG as an EXPERT option,
disabled by default even in debug builds.

There should not be an ABI difference between release and "normal" debug


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