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SubjectRe: [PATCH V5 0/3] Use efi_rts_wq to invoke EFI Runtime Services
On 29 May 2018 at 04:21, Sai Praneeth Prakhya
<> wrote:
> From: Sai Praneeth <>
> Problem statement:
> ------------------
> Presently, efi_runtime_services() silently switch %cr3 from swapper_pgd
> to efi_pgd. As a consequence, kernel code that runs in efi_pgd (e.g.,
> perf code via an NMI) will have incorrect user space mappings[1]. This
> could lead to otherwise unexpected access errors and, worse, unauthorized
> access to firmware code and data.
> Detailed discussion of problem statement:
> -----------------------------------------
> As this switch is not propagated to other kernel subsystems; they will
> wrongly assume that swapper_pgd is still in use and it can lead to
> following issues:
> 1. If kernel code tries to access user space addresses while in efi_pgd,
> it could lead to unauthorized accesses to firmware code/data.
> (e.g: <__>/copy_from_user_nmi()).
> [This could also be disastrous if the frame pointer happens to point at
> MMIO in the EFI runtime mappings] - Mark Rutland.
> An example of a subsystem that could touch user space while in efi_pgd is
> perf. Assume that we are in efi_pgd, a user could use perf to profile
> some user data and depending on the address the user is trying to
> profile, two things could happen.
> 1. If the mappings are absent, perf fails to profile.
> 2. If efi_pgd does have mappings for the requested address (these
> mappings are erroneous), perf profiles firmware code/data. If the
> address is MMIO'ed, perf could have potentially changed some device state.
> The culprit in both the cases is, EFI subsystem swapping out pgd and not
> perf. Because, EFI subsystem has broken the *general assumption* that
> all other subsystems rely on - "user space might be valid and nobody has
> switched %cr3".
> Solutions:
> ----------
> There are two ways to fix this issue:
> 1. Educate about pgd change to *all* the subsystems that could
> potentially access user space while in efi_pgd.
> On x86, AFAIK, it could happen only when some one touches user space
> from the back of an NMI (a quick audit on <__>/copy_from_user_nmi,
> showed perf and oprofile). On arm, it could happen from multiple
> places as arm runs efi_runtime_services() interrupts enabled (ARM folks,
> please comment on this as I might be wrong); whereas x86 runs
> efi_runtime_services() interrupts disabled.
> I think, this solution isn't holistic because
> a. Any other subsystem might well do the same, if not now, in future.
> b. Also, this solution looks simpler on x86 but not true if it's the
> same for arm (ARM folks, please comment on this as I might be wrong).
> c. This solution looks like a work around rather than addressing the issue.
> 2. Running efi_runtime_services() in kthread context.
> This makes sense because efi_pgd doesn't have user space and kthread
> by definition means that user space is not valid. Any kernel code that
> tries to touch user space while in kthread is buggy in itself. If so,
> it should be an easy fix in the other subsystem. This also take us one
> step closer to long awaiting proposal of Andy - Running EFI at CPL 3.
> What does this patch set do?
> ----------------------------
> Introduce efi_rts_wq (EFI runtime services work queue).
> When a user process requests the kernel to execute any efi_runtime_service(),
> kernel queues the work to efi_rts_wq, a kthread comes along, switches to
> efi_pgd and executes efi_runtime_service() in kthread context. IOW, this
> patch set adds support to the EFI subsystem to handle all calls to
> efi_runtime_services() using a work queue (which in turn uses kthread).
> How running efi_runtime_services() in kthread fixes above discussed issues?
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> If we run efi_runtime_services() in kthread context and if perf
> checks for it, we could get both the above scenarios correct by perf
> aborting the profiling. Not only perf, but any subsystem that tries to
> touch user space should first check for kthread context and if so,
> should abort.
> Q. If we still need check for kthread context in other subsystems that
> access user space, what does this patch set fix?
> A. This patch set makes sure that EFI subsystem is not at fault.
> Without this patch set the blame is upon EFI subsystem, because it's the
> one that changed pgd and hasn't communicated this change to everyone and
> hence broke the general assumption. Running efi_runtime_services() in
> kthread means explicitly communicating that user space is invalid, now
> it's the responsibility of other subsystem to make sure that it's
> running in right context.
> Testing:
> --------
> Tested using LUV (Linux UEFI Validation) for x86_64, x86_32 and arm64
> (qemu only). Will appreciate the effort if someone could test the
> patches on real ARM/ARM64 machines.
> LUV:
> Credits:
> --------
> Thanks to Ricardo, Dan, Miguel, Mark, Peter Z and Ard for reviews and
> suggestions. Thanks to Boris and Andy for making me think through/help
> on what I am addressing with this patch set.
> Please feel free to pour in your comments and concerns.
> Note:
> -----
> Patches are based on Linus's kernel v4.17-rc7
> [1] Backup: Detailing efi_pgd:
> ------------------------------
> efi_pgd has mappings for EFI Runtime Code/Data (on x86, plus EFI Boot time
> Code/Data) regions. Due to the nature of these mappings, they fall
> in user space address ranges and they are not the same as swapper.
> [On arm64, the EFI mappings are in the VA range usually used for user
> space. The two halves of the address space are managed by separate
> tables, TTBR0 and TTBR1. We always map the kernel in TTBR1, and we map
> user space or EFI runtime mappings in TTBR0.] - Mark Rutland
> Changes from V4 to V5:
> ----------------------
> 1. As suggested by Ard, don't use efi_rts_wq for non-blocking variants.
> Non-blocking variants are supposed to not block and using workqueue
> exactly does the opposite, hence refrain from using it.
> 2. Use non-blocking variants in efi_delete_dummy_variable(). Use of
> blocking variants means that we have to call efi_delete_dummy_variable()
> after efi_rts_wq has been created.
> 3. Remove in_atomic() check in set_variable<>() and query_variable_info<>().
> Any caller wishing to use set_variable() and query_variable_info() in
> atomic context should use their non-blocking variants.
> Changes from V3 to V4:
> ----------------------
> 1. As suggested by Peter, use completions instead of flush_work() as the
> former is cheaper
> 2. Call efi_delete_dummy_variable() from efisubsys_init(). Sorry! Ard,
> wasn't able to find a better alternative to keep this change local to
> arch/x86.
> Changes from V2 to V3:
> ----------------------
> 1. Rewrite the cover letter to clearly state the problem. What we are
> fixing and what we are not fixing.
> 2. Make efi_delete_dummy_variable() change local to x86.
> 3. Avoid using BUG(), instead, print error message and exit gracefully.
> 4. Move struct efi_runtime_work to runtime-wrappers.c file.
> 5. Give enum a name (efi_rts_ids) and use it in efi_runtime_work.
> 6. Add Naresh (maintainer of LUV for ARM) and Miguel to the CC list.
> Changes from V1 to V2:
> ----------------------
> 1. Remove unnecessary include of asm/efi.h file - Fixes build error on
> ia64, reported by 0-day
> 2. Use enum to identify efi_runtime_services()
> 3. Use alloc_ordered_workqueue() to create efi_rts_wq as
> create_workqueue() is scheduled for depreciation.
> 4. Make efi_call_rts() static, as it has no callers outside
> runtime-wrappers.c
> 5. Use BUG(), when we are unable to queue work or unable to identify
> requested efi_runtime_service() - Because these two situations should
> *never* happen.
> Sai Praneeth (3):
> x86/efi: Make efi_delete_dummy_variable() use
> set_variable_nonblocking() instead of set_variable()
> efi: Create efi_rts_wq and efi_queue_work() to invoke all
> efi_runtime_services()
> efi: Use efi_rts_wq to invoke EFI Runtime Services

This version looks good to me, and works as expected on SynQuacer (arm64).

Tested-by: Ard Biesheuvel <>
Reviewed-by: Ard Biesheuvel <>

I will give others the opportunity to review this code before queuing it though.


> arch/x86/platform/efi/quirks.c | 11 +-
> drivers/firmware/efi/efi.c | 14 ++
> drivers/firmware/efi/runtime-wrappers.c | 218 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---
> include/linux/efi.h | 3 +
> 4 files changed, 224 insertions(+), 22 deletions(-)
> Signed-off-by: Sai Praneeth Prakhya <>
> Suggested-by: Andy Lutomirski <>
> Cc: Lee Chun-Yi <>
> Cc: Borislav Petkov <>
> Cc: Tony Luck <>
> Cc: Will Deacon <>
> Cc: Dave Hansen <>
> Cc: Mark Rutland <>
> Cc: Bhupesh Sharma <>
> Cc: Naresh Bhat <>
> Cc: Ricardo Neri <>
> Cc: Peter Zijlstra <>
> Cc: Ravi Shankar <>
> Cc: Matt Fleming <>
> Cc: Dan Williams <>
> Cc: Ard Biesheuvel <>
> Cc: Miguel Ojeda <>
> --
> 2.7.4

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