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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/3] KVM: PPC: Book3S: Add support for hwrng found on some powernv systems
Il 02/10/2013 07:09, Paul Mackerras ha scritto:
> On Tue, Oct 01, 2013 at 01:19:06PM +0200, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
>
>> Anyhow, I would like to know more about this hwrng and hypercall.
>>
>> Does the hwrng return random numbers (like rdrand) or real entropy (like
>> rdseed that Intel will add in Broadwell)? What about the hypercall?
>
> Well, firstly, your terminology is inaccurate. Real entropy will give
> you random numbers. I think when you say "random numbers" you
> actually mean "pseudo-random numbers".

Yes---I meant pseudo-random numbers where the generator is periodically
seeded by a random number.

> Secondly, the RNG produces real entropy.

Good to know, thanks.

> Not sure why they are particularly "precious"; we get 64 bits per
> microsecond whether we use them or not. What are you suggesting
> arch_get_random_long() should do instead?

If you are running rngd, there is no need to have arch_get_random_long()
at all.

>> 3) If the hypercall returns random numbers, then it is a pretty
>> braindead interface since returning 8 bytes at a time limits the
>> throughput to a handful of MB/s (compare to 200 MB/sec for x86 rdrand).
>> But more important: in this case drivers/char/hw_random/pseries-rng.c
>> is completely broken and insecure, just like patch 2 in case (1) above.
>
> Assuming that by "random numbers" you actually mean "pseudo-random
> numbers", then this doesn't apply.

Indeed.

>> 4) If the hypercall returns entropy (same as virtio-rng), the same
>> considerations on speed apply. If you can only produce entropy at say 1
>> MB/s (so reading 8 bytes take 8 microseconds---which is actually very
>> fast), it doesn't matter that much to spend 7 microseconds on a
>> userspace roundtrip. It's going to be only half the speed of bare
>> metal, not 100 times slower.
>
> 8 bytes takes at most 1 microsecond, so the round-trip to userspace is
> definitely noticeable.

Thanks. Any chance you can give some numbers of a kernel hypercall and
a userspace hypercall on Power, so we have actual data? For example a
hypercall that returns H_PARAMETER as soon as possible.

Paolo


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