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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 0/5] madvise MADV_DOEXEC
On 7/30/2020 1:12 PM, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 11:59:42AM -0400, Steven Sistare wrote:
>> On 7/30/2020 11:22 AM, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
>>> On Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 10:11:22AM -0700, Anthony Yznaga wrote:
>>>> This patchset adds support for preserving an anonymous memory range across
>>>> exec(3) using a new madvise MADV_DOEXEC argument. The primary benefit for
>>>> sharing memory in this manner, as opposed to re-attaching to a named shared
>>>> memory segment, is to ensure it is mapped at the same virtual address in
>>>> the new process as it was in the old one. An intended use for this is to
>>>> preserve guest memory for guests using vfio while qemu exec's an updated
>>>> version of itself. By ensuring the memory is preserved at a fixed address,
>>>> vfio mappings and their associated kernel data structures can remain valid.
>>>> In addition, for the qemu use case, qemu instances that back guest RAM with
>>>> anonymous memory can be updated.
>>> I just realised that something else I'm working on might be a suitable
>>> alternative to this. Apologies for not realising it sooner.
>>> To use this, you'd mshare() the anonymous memory range, essentially
>>> detaching the VMA from the current process's mm_struct and reparenting
>>> it to this new mm_struct, which has an fd referencing it.
>>> Then you call exec(), and the exec'ed task gets to call mmap() on that
>>> new fd to attach the memory range to its own address space.
>>> Presto!
>> To be suitable for the qemu use case, we need a guarantee that the same VA range
>> is available in the new process, with nothing else mapped there. From your spec,
>> it sounds like the new process could do a series of unrelated mmap's which could
>> overlap the desired va range before the silby mmap(fd) is performed??
> That could happen. eg libc might get its text segment mapped there
> randomly. I believe Khalid was working on a solution for reserving
> memory ranges.

mshare + VA reservation is another possible solution.

Or MADV_DOEXEC alone, which is ready now. I hope we can get back to reviewing that.

>> Also, we need to support updating legacy processes that already created anon segments.
>> We inject code that calls MADV_DOEXEC for such segments.
> Yes, I was assuming you'd inject code that called mshare().

OK, mshare works on existing memory and builds a new vma.

> Actually, since you're injecting code, why do you need the kernel to
> be involved? You can mmap the new executable and any libraries it depends
> upon, set up a new stack and jump to the main() entry point, all without
> calling exec(). I appreciate it'd be a fair amount of code, but it'd all
> be in userspace and you can probably steal / reuse code from (I'm
> not familiar with the details of how setting up an executable is done).

Duplicating all the work that the kernel and loader do to exec a process would
be error prone, require ongoing maintenance, and be redundant. Better to define
a small kernel extension and leave exec to the kernel.

- Steve

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