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SubjectRe: RFC: WMI Enhancements
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On Tuesday 18 April 2017 18:33:25 Darren Hart wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 03:07:06PM +0200, Rafael Wysocki wrote:
> > On Monday, April 17, 2017 04:10:51 PM Darren Hart wrote:
> > > On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 03:03:29PM -0700, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> > > > On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 4:05 PM, Darren Hart
> > > > <dvhart@infradead.org> wrote:
> > > > > On Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 12:45:30AM +0200, Rafael Wysocki
> > > > > wrote:
> > > > >> On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 04:08:54 PM Darren Hart wrote:
> > > > >> > Hi All,
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > There are a few parallel efforts involving the Windows
> > > > >> > Management Instrumentation (WMI)[1] and dependent/related
> > > > >> > drivers. I'd like to have a round of discussion among
> > > > >> > those of you that have been involved in this space before
> > > > >> > we decide on a direction.
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > The WMI support in the kernel today fairly narrowly
> > > > >> > supports a handful of systems. Andy L. has a
> > > > >> > work-in-progress series [2] which converts wmi into a
> > > > >> > platform device and a proper bus, providing devices for
> > > > >> > dependent drivers to bind to, and a mechanism for sibling
> > > > >> > devices to communicate with each other. I've reviewed the
> > > > >> > series and feel like the approach is sound, I plan to
> > > > >> > carry this series forward and merge it (with Andy L's
> > > > >> > permission).
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > Are there any objections to this?
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > In Windows, applications interact with WMI more or less
> > > > >> > directly. We don't do this in Linux currently, although
> > > > >> > it has been discussed in the past [3]. Some vendors will
> > > > >> > work around this by performing SMI/SMM, which is
> > > > >> > inefficient at best. Exposing WMI methods to userspace
> > > > >> > would bring parity to WMI for Linux and Windows.
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > There are two principal concerns I'd appreciate your
> > > > >> > thoughts on:
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > a) As an undiscoverable interface (you need to know the
> > > > >> > method signatures ahead of time), universally exposing
> > > > >> > every WMI "device" to userspace seems like "a bad idea"
> > > > >> > from a security and stability perspective. While access
> > > > >> > would certainly be privileged, it seems more prudent to
> > > > >> > make this exposure opt-in. We also handle some of this
> > > > >> > with kernel drivers and exposing those "devices" to
> > > > >> > userspace would enable userspace and the kernel to fight
> > > > >> > over control. So - if we expose WMI devices to userspace,
> > > > >> > I believe this should be done on a case by case basis,
> > > > >> > opting in, and not by default as part of the WMI driver
> > > > >> > (although it can provide the mechanism for a sub-driver
> > > > >> > to use), and possibly a devmode to do so by default.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> A couple of loose thoughts here.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> In principle there could be a "generic default WMI driver"
> > > > >> or similar that would "claim" all WMI "devices" that have
> > > > >> not been "claimed" by anyone else and would simply expose
> > > > >> them to user space somehow (e.g. using a chardev
> > > > >> interface).
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Then, depending on how that thing is implemented, opt-in etc
> > > > >> should be possible too.
> > > > >
> > > > > I think we agree this would be an ideal approach.
> > > > >
> > > > > As we look into this more, it is becoming clear that the
> > > > > necessary functionality is not nicely divided into GUIDs for
> > > > > what is necessary in userspace and what is handled in the
> > > > > kernel. A single WMI METHOD GUID may be needed by userspace
> > > > > for certain functionality, while the kernel drivers may use
> > > > > it for something else.
> > > > >
> > > > > :-(
> > > > >
> > > > > The input to a WMI method is just a buffer, so it is very
> > > > > free form. One approach Mario has mentioned was to audit the
> > > > > user space WMI METHOD calls in the kernel platform drivers
> > > > > and reject those calls with arguments matching those issued
> > > > > by the kernel driver. This is likely to be complex and error
> > > > > prone in my opinion. However, I have not yet thought of
> > > > > another means to meet the requirement of having disjoint
> > > > > feature sets for userspace and kernel space via a mechanism
> > > > > that was effectively designed to be used solely from user
> > > > > space with vendor defined method signatures.
> > > > >
> > > > > Next step is to look at just how complex it would be to audit
> > > > > the method calls the kernel currently uses.
> > > >
> > > > I'm wondering whether it's really worth it. We already allow
> > > > doing darned near anything using dcdbas. Maybe the world
> > > > won't end if we expose a complete-ish ioctl interface to WMI.
> >
> > I guess the world wouldn't end then (it has not ended for far more
> > serious reasons so far after all), but this also doesn't feel
> > entirely right.
> >
> > For one, if something is used inside of the kernel (by drivers
> > etc), then allowing user space to use the same thing directly is a
> > recipe for unsupportable mess IMO.
>
> I don't disagree. Unforuntately, the mechanism wasn't designed for
> this kind of mixed usage from what I can determine, so it doesn't
> lend itself to separation.

Yes, and this is reason why abstract generic interface has problems and
cannot be really generic.

> We could kick out all the WMI drivers and
> encourage vendor/platform specific system daemons which read WMI and
> injected events and configured LEDs through sysfs, thus eliminating
> the user/kernel conflict - but it would only leave us with the
> problem of multiple userspace daemons competing for the same WMI
> METHODs -- and yeah, nobody's going for that :-D

IMO, this will only results in more problems as we already have and does
not bring any value. Just anarchy, like in windows world.

> > > > Also, dcdbas is, to put it mildly, a bit ridiculous. It seems
> > > > to be a seriously awkward sysfs interface that allows you to,
> > > > drumroll please, issue outb and inb instructions. It doesn't
> > > > even check that it's running on a Dell system. It might be
> > > > nice to deprecate it some day in favor of a real interface.
> > > > I'd consider a low-level WMI ioctl interface to be a vast
> > > > improvement.
> > >
> > > I've been reluctantly arriving here as well. Given that every WMI
> > > interface will be vendor specific, and non-discoverable, it
> > > seems unlikely developers will eagerly duplicate kernel
> > > functionality in user-space. And if they do, it will affect very
> > > few platforms.
> > >
> > > I still think it makes sense to only expose a WMI interface by
> > > default on some matching criteria. It could be DMI related, but
> > > I'd like to know if the UID is possible as well (it depends on
> > > how vendors use the UID, if consistently, not at all, etc.)
> > > Otherwise, the interface would not be enabled unless the user
> > > explicitly requests it via a module parameter or similar.
> >
> > To me, that should be the bare minimum, but I really think that
> > mutual exclusion between user space and the kernel needs to be
> > ensured somehow when the interface is enabled too.
> >
> > This looks similar to exposing _DSM functionality for certain
> > device to user space where some functions of the _DSM in question
> > are already in use by kernel code. In that case I would think
> > about an interface with a function granularity (so it would check
> > the GUID and the function and possibly the ordering with respect
> > to the other functions too before invoking the _DSM on behalf of
> > user space).
>
> This is also what I would consider to be ideal, but the mechanism
> doesn't lend itself to that level of granularity. WMI methods are
> not guaranteed to be broken up into sufficiently granular
> functionality that we can filter based on method ID. We would most
> likely end up in the position of having to audit the input buffer of
> every WMI call.

And still, if write audit filters for every one existing wmi driver in
kernel, there still audit filter can say to userspace that current
request cannot be accepted and sent to firmware.

This would mean that userspace application would not be able to do ANY
WMI method call (as e.g. on windows) and so for some vendors it can be
useless.

And here I'm not sure, how hard would be to write those audit filters
for all wmi kernel drivers and if it would be possible without wmi
documentation of those vendor apis (which we do not have).

Potential vendors can decide based on above fact, that their userspace
application rather rmmod wmi kernel driver for particular GUID (which
release occupation of wmi device) and their userspace application starts
working. And this is I think situation which is bad for kernel and we
should prevent it.

> For example, we can filter things the ASUS WMI Keyboard Filter
> method, but others are less specific, like Device Set, Bios Status,
> Device Status, Device Policy, etc.
>
> What we could do is make that the vendor's problem instead of the
> kernel's problem. Consider:
>
> * wmi.c adds method evaluation wrappers
> * add a wmi evaluation mutex
> * update *wmi.c drivers to use the new wrappers
> * platform drivers (dell-wmi.c, asus-wmi.c, etc.) must explicitly
> request wmi.c to export the wmi chardev
> * platform drivers must explicitly whitelist each method ID to be
> exported - they can automate this in a loop evaluating the wmi block
> if they wish * platform drivers *may* register a wmi evaluation
> filter which allows them to audit the method id and input buffer to
> ensure it doesn't conflict with in-kernel usage (their usage).
>
> I believe this is a reasonable compromise, and it places the burden
> on the platform drivers, and therefor on the vendors (in the best
> case) or the individual platform driver maintainers for less
> cooperative vendors. This contains any resulting exposure to the
> platforms which explicitly request it.

--
Pali Rohár
pali.rohar@gmail.com
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