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SubjectRe: RFC: WMI Enhancements
On Fri, May 05, 2017 at 09:55:46PM +0000, Mario.Limonciello@dell.com wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Darren Hart [mailto:dvhart@infradead.org]
> > Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2017 3:45 PM
> > To: Pali Rohár <pali.rohar@gmail.com>
> > Cc: Limonciello, Mario <Mario_Limonciello@Dell.com>; rjw@rjwysocki.net;
> > luto@amacapital.net; len.brown@intel.com; corentin.chary@gmail.com;
> > luto@kernel.org; andriy.shevchenko@linux.intel.com; linux-
> > kernel@vger.kernel.org; platform-driver-x86@vger.kernel.org; linux-
> > pm@vger.kernel.org
> > Subject: Re: RFC: WMI Enhancements
> >
> > On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 03:14:31PM +0200, Pali Rohár wrote:
> > > On Wednesday 19 April 2017 17:24:00 Mario.Limonciello@dell.com wrote:
> > > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > > From: Pali Rohár [mailto:pali.rohar@gmail.com]
> > > > > Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 11:55 AM
> > > > > To: Limonciello, Mario <Mario_Limonciello@Dell.com>
> > > > > Cc: dvhart@infradead.org; rjw@rjwysocki.net; luto@amacapital.net;
> > > > > len.brown@intel.com; corentin.chary@gmail.com; luto@kernel.org;
> > > > > andriy.shevchenko@linux.intel.com; linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org; platform-
> > > > > driver-x86@vger.kernel.org; linux-pm@vger.kernel.org
> > > > > Subject: Re: RFC: WMI Enhancements
> > > > >
> > > > > On Wednesday 19 April 2017 18:29:53 Mario.Limonciello@dell.com wrote:
> > > > > > > As wrote above, I'm fine with explicit whitelist of WMI GUIDs which
> > > > > > > will be exported to userspace after communication with vendor.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > What about GUID's not yet used by kernel drivers? Would those
> > > > > > default to whitelist default to blacklist? My preference would be
> > > > > > to default to whitelist. This allows new GUID's to be added later
> > > > > > without needing to modify kernel for something that kernel won't
> > > > > > need to do anything immediately.
> > > > >
> > > > > I understood it as there would be explicit whitelist in kernel and new
> > > > > GUIDs would be needed to add into whitelist, even those which do not
> > > > > have kernel wmi driver.
> > > > >
> > > > > Exporting all GUIDs (to userspace) which are not bind to kernel driver
> > > > > has one big problem. If kernel introduce new wmi driver for such GUID
> > > > > then it block userspace to access it or at least would need to provide
> > > > > audit filter and something would be probably filtered. It means that
> > > > > some userspace applications which would use that GUIDs stops working
> > > > > after upgrading to new kernel. And we can be in situation where *user*
> > > > > need to decide: either use 3rd party userspace application from vendor
> > > > > which provide some special settings for your laptop, or use kernel
> > > > > module which provides standard rfkill/led/input class driver.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > If this proposal goes forward it would sound like to me an audit filter
> > > > would become a prerequisite for any new WMI kernel driver. This is not
> > > > a problem to me.
> > >
> > > Not for any wmi driver, only for those which would like to export wmi
> > > device to userspace.
> >
> > Correct.
> >
> > >
> > > > This audience recommends the way for users to configure the system but
> > > > of course cannot stop users from doing what they decide to do.
> > >
> > > Of course, but in above hypothetical example, user is in situation where
> > > is unable to use both 3rd vendor application and together kernel
> > > rfkill/led/input driver. User must decide (by e.g. modprobe blacklist or
> > > manual module loading) what want to use.
> > >
> > > But ideal solution is that both 3rd vendor application for firmware
> > > settings and also rfkill kernel driver would work together without need
> > > to rmmod/modprobe modules and without restarting 3rd vendor application.
> > >
> > > > We're all in agreement that the kernel should keep responsibility for some
> > > > of these functionalities.
> > > > If a new kernel WMI driver duplicates functionality that happens to find its
> > > > way in userspace and the kernel audits that out yes the userspace
> > > > application may start to have less functionality, but better support
> > > > would live in the kernel and the user would be better supported by
> > > > the stack (for example could use standard rfkill userspace utilities).
> > >
> >
> > Pali has raised a very good point which I want to get some feedback from Linus,
> > and perhaps tglx, hpa, and gregkh on. While Mario is expressing a very pragmatic
> > approach which I certainly appreciate, we have a very strong position that we do
> > not break userspace.
> >
> > There have been exceptions for specific pseudo filesystems and such, but they
> > are rare. We would need to document the WMI commitment from the kernel to
> > userspace (e.g. any call may be filtered based on current Linux kernel WMI
> > usage, which may change over time). This sounds troublesome... will give this
> > some more thought.
> >
>
> There are other examples in the kernel of the same data accessible in multiple
> different methods that can cause inconsistencies too.

Something that occurred to me today is we could include in the API of the WMI
device the potential return of -EBUSY anytime the kernel decides it can't safely
service a call. This would avoid *changing* the API exposed to userspace, but it
could change the behavior and availability of certain methods.

>
> > > Ok. So it is acceptable solution/API/ABI for you & other Dell people?
> > > Or is something more or different needed?
> > >
> > > Darren, I hope that I understood your proposal with explicit whitelist
> > > correctly. And is there already another vendor which want to use wmi
> > > userspace on linux?
> >
> > It might be moot with Christoph's dynamic ID comment which I need to go review
> > in detail. Putting that aside for a moment, what I intended was for the platform
> > driver to whitelist GUIDs. But, that doesn't necessarily mean it has an explicit
> > list. The platform driver could have a blacklist and then walk through all
> > available GUIDs and export everything except those on the blacklist.
>
> To get this started can you re-review Andy's platform/wmi tree and merge in some
> of his bus work? Regardless of the outcome of the access to userspace and dynamic
> binding this is a good direction for WMI support in platform/drivers/x86 to get started.

Yes, this is already queued up for next week, and will be targeted at the 4.13
merge window.

>
> >
> > Now with Christoph's idea, we may be able to maintain a blacklist of GUIDs and a
> > whitelist of platforms which CAN export WMI, but not export any until userspace
> > requests a specific GUID be exported at which point it is checked against the
> > blacklist and then exported accordingly, at which point the WMI method filters
> > handle the rest.
> >
>
> I've been studying more about how this access to WMI BIOS functions on Windows
> works this week and uncovered what I see as another set of related questions around
> commitment to manageability access from the OS with this potential userspace layer.
>
> On Windows what happens is the MOF data (same stuff exposed by Andy's wmi-mof)
> is imported into the WMI namespace. This allows any tools to know exactly how
> to interact with the various GUID's associated to the ASL methods. The format of the
> data and the arguments supported are encoded directly in that MOF data.
>
> This means that standard WBEM tools are able to interact directly with these methods
> based upon exposed objects. BIOS manufacturer can expose say all BIOS settings that
> are integer to a GUID for interacting with integer settings and those would get loaded
> into the WMI namespace. When someone uses a WBEM tool to modify that object
> the data is properly formatted into the correct arguments for an integer and then run
> through the ASL. Another GUID might be made for strings and another for specially
> crafted lists (like a boot order). The important part is that all settings are discoverable
> and no extra tools are needed to administer a box. It can all be done from things like
> PowerShell or wmic.

Ah, that's good insight, thank you.

>
> In an ideal world I think this is the right solution for Linux too, as part of this pipe we've
> discussed let some userspace Linux WBEM tools like OpenLMI have access to a BIOS
> provider that can interact with various settings.
>
> Unfortunately the MOF data that comes out of wmi-mof is so called "Binary MOF" which
> has been pre-compiled to an intermediate format with mofcomp.exe on Windows.
> The format of binary MOF is not documented and the only known way to get text
> mof back out is by using mofcomp.exe with some esoteric arguments.
>
> mofcomp.exe -MOF:recovered.mof -MFL:ms_409.mof -Amendment:MS_409 binary_mof_file
>

Oh wow. That's... that's just horrible. :-(

Do you have an idea as to the relative complexity of this format? Does it make
sense for us to attempt to decompile it? Presumably this would be done in
userspace ... although seeing as how we have drivers using this functionality,
it would be useful to be able to parse this from the kernel as well. Hrm.

Definitely *not* a perfect world :-)

> So with that said, what role should the Linux kernel actually play here?

Time to level this up. I'll draft something up and try to get Linus and Greg to
weigh in.

> My thought is it still makes sense to make this pipe available to potentially enable WBEM
> tools at some point. At least until a way to deconstruct binary MOF is made available,
> it's conceivable to build a provider from reverse engineered discovery of how the ASL works,
> it just won't be as "pretty" as the type of data you get out of MOF with name and value mappings.

I'm not following the "At least until a way to deconstruct binary MOF is made
available" relates to making the pipe as you called it available?

The pipe would provide a WMI chardev which usespace could open and write a
method ID and arguments to, and read a response. That is necessary whether or
not the MOF data is legible. Having the MOF data just means it's less work to
figure out exactly which method IDs are available and what arguments they
accept. Right?

--
Darren Hart
VMware Open Source Technology Center

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