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SubjectRe: [RFC] /dev/ioasid uAPI proposal
On Mon, 7 Jun 2021 15:18:58 -0300
Jason Gunthorpe <> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 07, 2021 at 09:41:48AM -0600, Alex Williamson wrote:
> > You're calling this an admin knob, which to me suggests a global module
> > option, so are you trying to implement both an administrator and a user
> > policy? ie. the user can create scenarios where access to wbinvd might
> > be justified by hardware/IOMMU configuration, but can be limited by the
> > admin?
> Could be a per-device sysfs too. I'm not really sure what is useful
> here.
> > For example I proposed that the ioasidfd would bear the responsibility
> > of a wbinvd ioctl and therefore validate the user's access to enable
> > wbinvd emulation w/ KVM, so I'm assuming this module option lives
> > there.
> Right, this is what I was thinking
> > What then is "automatic" mode? The user cannot create a non-coherent
> > IOASID with a non-coherent device if the IOMMU supports no-snoop
> > blocking? Do they get a failure? Does it get silently promoted to
> > coherent?
> "automatic" was just a way to keep the API the same as today. Today if
> the IOMMU can block no-snoop then vfio disables wbinvd. To get the
> same level of security automatic mode would detect that vfio would
> have blocked wbinvd because the IOMMU can do it, and then always block
> it.
> It makes sense if there is an admin knob, as the admin could then move
> to an explict enable/disable to get functionality they can't get
> today.
> > In "disable" mode, I think we're just narrowing the restriction
> > further, a non-coherent capable device cannot be used except in a
> > forced coherent IOASID.
> I wouldn't say "cannot be used" - just you can't get access to
> wbinvd.
> It is up to qemu if it wants to proceed or not. There is no issue with
> allowing the use of no-snoop and blocking wbinvd, other than some
> drivers may malfunction. If the user is certain they don't have
> malfunctioning drivers then no issue to go ahead.

A driver that knows how to use the device in a coherent way can
certainly proceed, but I suspect that's not something we can ask of
QEMU. QEMU has no visibility to the in-use driver and sketchy ability
to virtualize the no-snoop enable bit to prevent non-coherent DMA from
the device. There might be an experimental ("x-" prefixed) QEMU device
option to allow user override, but QEMU should disallow the possibility
of malfunctioning drivers by default. If we have devices that probe as
supporting no-snoop, but actually can't generate such traffic, we might
need a quirk list somewhere.

> The current vfio arrangement (automatic) maximized compatability. The
> enable/disable options provide for max performance and max security as
> alternative targets.
> > > It is the strenth of Paolo's model that KVM should not be able to do
> > > optionally less, not more than the process itself can do.
> >
> > I think my previous reply was working towards those guidelines. I feel
> > like we're mostly in agreement, but perhaps reading past each other.
> Yes, I think I said we were agreeing :)
> > Nothing here convinced me against my previous proposal that the
> > ioasidfd bears responsibility for managing access to a wbinvd ioctl,
> > and therefore the equivalent KVM access. Whether wbinvd is allowed or
> > no-op'd when the use has access to a non-coherent device in a
> > configuration where the IOMMU prevents non-coherent DMA is maybe still
> > a matter of personal preference.
> I think it makes the software design much simpler if the security
> check is very simple. Possessing a suitable device in an ioasid fd
> container is enough to flip on the feature and we don't need to track
> changes from that point on. We don't need to revoke wbinvd if the
> ioasid fd changes, for instance. Better to keep the kernel very simple
> in this regard.

You're suggesting that a user isn't forced to give up wbinvd emulation
if they lose access to their device? I suspect that like we do today,
we'll want to re-evaluate the need for wbinvd on most device changes.
I think this is why the kvm-vfio device holds a vfio group reference;
to make sure a given group can't elevate privileges for multiple
processes. Thanks,


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