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SubjectRe: RFC: WMI Enhancements
On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 6:33 PM, Darren Hart <dvhart@infradead.org> 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.
> 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

Yeah, surely no one. :-)

>>
>> > > 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.
>
> 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.

That would work for me.

Thanks,
Rafael

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