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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 1/3] KVM: x86: Deflect unknown MSR accesses to user space
On Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 4:59 PM Alexander Graf <> wrote:
> MSRs are weird. Some of them are normal control registers, such as EFER.
> Some however are registers that really are model specific, not very
> interesting to virtualization workloads, and not performance critical.
> Others again are really just windows into package configuration.
> Out of these MSRs, only the first category is necessary to implement in
> kernel space. Rarely accessed MSRs, MSRs that should be fine tunes against
> certain CPU models and MSRs that contain information on the package level
> are much better suited for user space to process. However, over time we have
> accumulated a lot of MSRs that are not the first category, but still handled
> by in-kernel KVM code.
> This patch adds a generic interface to handle WRMSR and RDMSR from user
> space. With this, any future MSR that is part of the latter categories can
> be handled in user space.
> Furthermore, it allows us to replace the existing "ignore_msrs" logic with
> something that applies per-VM rather than on the full system. That way you
> can run productive VMs in parallel to experimental ones where you don't care
> about proper MSR handling.
> Signed-off-by: Alexander Graf <>

Can we just drop em_wrmsr and em_rdmsr? The in-kernel emulator is
already incomplete, and I don't think there is ever a good reason for
kvm to emulate RDMSR or WRMSR if the VM-exit was for some other reason
(and we shouldn't end up here if the VM-exit was for RDMSR or WRMSR).
Am I missing something?

You seem to be assuming that the instruction at CS:IP will still be
RDMSR (or WRMSR) after returning from userspace, and we will come
through kvm_{get,set}_msr_user_space again at the next KVM_RUN. That
isn't necessarily the case, for a variety of reasons. I think the
'completion' of the userspace instruction emulation should be done
with the complete_userspace_io [sic] mechanism instead.

I'd really like to see this mechanism apply only in the case of
invalid/unknown MSRs, and not for illegal reads/writes as well.

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