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SubjectRe: virtio-pci new configuration proposal
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On Thu, 2011-11-03 at 14:46 +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 03, 2011 at 10:33:23AM +0200, Sasha Levin wrote:
> > On Thu, 2011-11-03 at 12:28 +1030, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > > On Wed, 02 Nov 2011 20:49:27 +0200, Sasha Levin <levinsasha928@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > This is a proposal for a new layout of the virtio-pci config space.
> > > >
> > > > We will separate the current configuration into two: A virtio-pci common
> > > > configuration and a device specific configuration. This allows more flexibility
> > > > with adding features and makes usage easier, specifically in cases like the
> > > > ones in virtio-net where device specific configurations depend on device
> > > > specific features.
> > >
> > > Thanks for this Sasha. Several general comments:
> > >
> > > 1) How to we distinguish the two layouts? In theory, we need to do this
> > > forever. In practice we can deprecate the old layout in several
> > > years' time.
> >
> > Old layouts won't have the new virtio-pci cap structure in their PCI
> > config space.
>
> What happens next time we want to change something?

Thats why there are virtio-pci cap values. This layout cap was defined
as VIRTIO_PCI_C_LAYOUT. If for example we want to provide a whole
different layout, we can define something similar to
VIRTIO_PCI_C_LAYOUT_V2 and use it in newer drivers (we can also add a
version field to the original layout ofcourse).

This also allows an easy way to provide backwards compatibility by
specifying many layout definitions and letting the driver choose the
latest layout he can. This would also allow to make larger changes
easier as it allows you to have several different layout configs in the
same code.

>
> > > 2) I don't think we want to turn the device-specific config into a
> > > linked list. We haven't needed variable-length config (yet!), and
> > > it's (slightly) more complex. That's also the part of the spec which
> > > is shared with non-PCI virtio implementations.
> >
> > Variable length config wasn't used yet because space in the device
> > specific space was reserved for a feature even if that feature wasn't
> > used.
>
> Not only that, also because it is messy to debug. With fixed offsets
> you just print the address/data and you know what it's doing.
>
> > For example, the MAC feature reserved 6 bytes in the config space for
> > the MAC even if VIRTIO_NET_F_MAC wasn't enabled. Here we can just avoid
> > having it pollute the config space until it's enabled.
> >
>
> This looks like overdesign to me. The only reason PCI spec
> used capability list is
> 1. to save space
> 2. standard mechanism to discover features
> You say explicitly space is not an issue, and you keep
> feature bits around.

Okay, I agree with not doing linked lists for device specific features.

I do think we need them for virtio-pci itself to handle features such as
MSI-X.

> > I don't think it'll have any impact on non-PCI implementations since the
> > "pointers" are simply offsets from the beginning of the config space,
> > and are not PCI specific in any way.
>
> The APIs use a single offset cookie to pass configuration.
> If you want capabilities, that will have to be changed.
>
> > > 3) If we're changing the queue layout, it's a chance to fix a
> > > longstanding bug: let the guest notify the host of preferred
> > > queue size and alignment.
> >
> > Yup, we can do that.
> >
> > --
> >
> > Sasha.
> >

--

Sasha.



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