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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2] x86/kvm: Disable KVM_ASYNC_PF_SEND_ALWAYS
Andy Lutomirski <> writes:
>> On Apr 7, 2020, at 10:21 AM, Vivek Goyal <> wrote:
>> Whether interrupts are enabled or not check only happens before we decide
>> if async pf protocol should be followed or not. Once we decide to
>> send PAGE_NOT_PRESENT, later notification PAGE_READY does not check
>> if interrupts are enabled or not. And it kind of makes sense otherwise
>> guest process will wait infinitely to receive PAGE_READY.
>> I modified the code a bit to disable interrupt and wait 10 seconds (after
>> getting PAGE_NOT_PRESENT message). And I noticed that error async pf
>> got delivered after 10 seconds after enabling interrupts. So error
>> async pf was not lost because interrupts were disabled.

Async PF is not the same as a real #PF. It just hijacked the #PF vector
because someone thought this is a brilliant idea.

>> Havind said that, I thought disabling interrupts does not mask exceptions.
>> So page fault exception should have been delivered even with interrupts
>> disabled. Is that correct? May be there was no vm exit/entry during
>> those 10 seconds and that's why.

No. Async PF is not a real exception. It has interrupt semantics and it
can only be injected when the guest has interrupts enabled. It's bad

> My point is that the entire async pf is nonsense. There are two types of events right now:
> “Page not ready”: normally this isn’t even visible to the guest — the
> guest just waits. With async pf, the idea is to try to tell the guest
> that a particular instruction would block and the guest should do
> something else instead. Sending a normal exception is a poor design,
> though: the guest may not expect this instruction to cause an
> exception. I think KVM should try to deliver an *interrupt* and, if it
> can’t, then just block the guest.

That's pretty much what it does, just that it runs this through #PF and
has the checks for interrupts disabled - i.e can't right now' around
that. If it can't then KVM schedules the guest out until the situation
has been resolved.

> “Page ready”: this is a regular asynchronous notification just like,
> say, a virtio completion. It should be an ordinary interrupt. Some in
> memory data structure should indicate which pages are ready.
> “Page is malfunctioning” is tricky because you *must* deliver the
> event. x86’s #MC is not exactly a masterpiece, but it does kind of
> work.

Nooooo. This does not need #MC at all. Don't even think about it.

The point is that the access to such a page is either happening in user
space or in kernel space with a proper exception table fixup.

That means a real #PF is perfectly fine. That can be injected any time
and does not have the interrupt semantics of async PF.

So now lets assume we distangled async PF from #PF and made it a regular
interrupt, then the following situation still needs to be dealt with:

guest -> access faults

host -> injects async fault

guest -> handles and blocks the task

host figures out that the page does not exist anymore and now needs to
fixup the situation.

host -> injects async wakeup

guest -> returns from aysnc PF interrupt and retries the instruction
which faults again.

host -> knows by now that this is a real fault and injects a proper #PF

guest -> #PF runs and either sends signal to user space or runs
the exception table fixup for a kernel fault.



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