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Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC v2 3/6] xen/arm: Allow platform_hvc to handle guest SMC calls

Hi Tamas,

On 08/02/17 16:40, Tamas K Lengyel wrote:
On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 1:31 AM, Edgar E. Iglesias
<edgar.iglesias@xxxxxxxxxx <mailto:edgar.iglesias@xxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
    On Tue, Feb 07, 2017 at 05:24:03PM -0700, Tamas K Lengyel wrote:
    > On Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 1:51 PM, Julien Grall <julien.grall@xxxxxxx
    <mailto:julien.grall@xxxxxxx>> wrote:
    I considered this approach a bit but it has several problems IMO.
    These may not be unsolvable or even problems for monitoring but
    they do introduce complexity into the solution.

    1. Some SMC calls may depend on the core they are issued from.
       If taking a detour to dom0, this becomes messy to guarantee.

    2. Overall complexity increases very significantly and it becomes
       quite hard to follow/review how these calls get handled.
       In particular once you consider solving #1.

    3. There are certain calls that perhaps not even dom0 should have
       direct access to. This means that Xen may need to filter some of
       them anyway.

    Some examples may be:

    SMC calls:
    * To directly turn off or suspend cores
    * To turn off DDR or RAMs that Xen is using
    * To a solution specific Trusted OS pinned to a specific core
    * For PSCI
    * Etc

    I would prefer if we could find a way for monitoring to play nicely
    with Xen implementing the SMC mediators.
    Perhaps we could allow calls that Xen consumes to be monitored/inspected
    but not modified. Or there might be other ways.

    Best regards,

Hi Edgar,
certainly there are many cases where the system would become very
complex when there is functionality like what you describe in the TZ
that needs to be made accessible via SMC. The setup I described is
experimental only, and the underlying assumption is that the TZ is
working jointly with the monitor application (ie. both are aware of each
other). So it is really not intended to work with just any firmware.

How do you expect TrustZone to work with the monitor application? If you think about modifying Trustzone, it seems a requirement difficult to achieve as some Trusted OS are proprietary or difficult to replace on a phone.

So I think for the sake of reducing complexity, having the monitor
system be exclusive when enabled should make everyone's life simpler.
Having a passive monitoring mode as you suggest is certainly an option,
although it should not be the only option, exclusive routing of SMCs
through monitor applications should still be available to be configured
by the user. Since I really don't know of any usecases where passive
monitoring of SMCs is required, I don't think we should go that route.

I see the SMC trap similar to a register trap. The monitor app will look at the register value and potentially modify it. What would be the issue to do the same for SMC?

I think a such model would fit the requirement for everyone. The monitor app can filter if necessary, and Xen would handle the mediation between multiple guests. I would also recommend to read the thread about OP-TEE support in Xen (see [1]).


[1] https://lists.xenproject.org/archives/html/xen-devel/2016-11/msg02220.html

Julien Grall

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