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Subject[PATCH 0/7] [v2] x86/mm/pti: close two Meltdown leaks with Global kernel mapping

The fixes for the problem Hugh reported took a bit more surgery
than I would have liked, but they do appear to work. Note that
the last two patches are unnecessary cleanups that could be removed
from backports.

Changes from v1:
* Modify set_memory_np() to avoid messing with the direct map
by limiting its changes to the high kernel image map.


This applies to 4.17 and 4.18.

Thanks to Hugh Dickins for initially finding the r/w kernel text
issue and coming up with an initial fix. I found the "unused
hole" part and came up with different approach for fixing the



Process Context IDentifiers (PCIDs) are a hardware feature that
allows TLB entries to survive page table switches (CR3 writes).
As an optimization, the PTI code currently allows the kernel image
to be Global when running on hardware without PCIDs. This results
in fewer TLB misses, especially upon entry.

The downside is that these Global areas are theoretically
susceptible to Meltdown. The logic is that there are no secrets
in the kernel image, so why pay the cost of TLB misses.


The current PTI code leaves the entire area of the kernel binary
between '_text' and '_end' as Global (on non-PCID hardware).
However, that range contains both read-write kernel data, and two
"unused" holes in addition to text. The areas which are not text
or read-only might contain secrets once they are freed back into
the allocator.

This issue affects systems which are susceptible to Meltdown, do not
have PCIDs and which are using the default PTI_AUTO mode (no
pti=on/off on the cmdline).

PCIDs became generally available for servers in ~2010 (Westmere)
and desktop (client) parts in roughly 2011 (Sandybridge). This
is not expected to affect anything newer than that.


The solution for the read-write area is to clear the global bit
for the area (patch #1).

The "unused" holes need a bit more work since we free them in a
bit of an ad-hoc way, but we fix this up in patches 2-5.

Cc: Kees Cook <>
Cc: Thomas Gleixner <>
Cc: Ingo Molnar <>
Cc: Andrea Arcangeli <>
Cc: Juergen Gross <>
Cc: Josh Poimboeuf <>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Cc: Peter Zijlstra <>
Cc: Hugh Dickins <>
Cc: Linus Torvalds <>
Cc: Borislav Petkov <>
Cc: Andy Lutomirski <>
Cc: Andi Kleen <>

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