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SubjectRe: [RFC v2 00/27] Kernel Address Space Isolation
On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 01:56:44PM +0200, Alexandre Chartre wrote:

> I think that's precisely what makes ASI and PTI different and independent.
> PTI is just about switching between userland and kernel page-tables, while
> ASI is about switching page-table inside the kernel. You can have ASI without
> having PTI. You can also use ASI for kernel threads so for code that won't
> be triggered from userland and so which won't involve PTI.

PTI is not mapping kernel space to avoid speculation crap (meltdown).
ASI is not mapping part of kernel space to avoid (different) speculation crap (MDS).

See how very similar they are?

Furthermore, to recover SMT for userspace (under MDS) we not only need
core-scheduling but core-scheduling per address space. And ASI was
specifically designed to help mitigate the trainwreck just described.

By explicitly exposing (hopefully harmless) part of the kernel to MDS,
we reduce the part that needs core-scheduling and thus reduce the rate
the SMT siblngs need to sync up/schedule.

But looking at it that way, it makes no sense to retain 3 address
spaces, namely:

user / kernel exposed / kernel private.

Specifically, it makes no sense to expose part of the kernel through MDS
but not through Meltdow. Therefore we can merge the user and kernel
exposed address spaces.

And then we've fully replaced PTI.

So no, they're not orthogonal.

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