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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 0/2] x86: Fix missing core serialization on migration

On 11/14/2017 06:49 PM, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> ----- On Nov 14, 2017, at 11:08 AM, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 05:05:41PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
>>> On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 03:17:12PM +0000, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
>>>> I've tried to create a small single-threaded self-modifying loop in
>>>> user-space to trigger a trace cache or speculative execution quirk,
>>>> but I have not succeeded yet. I suspect that I would need to know
>>>> more about the internals of the processor architecture to create the
>>>> right stalls that would allow speculative execution to move further
>>>> ahead, and trigger an incoherent execution flow. Ideas on how to
>>>> trigger this would be welcome.
>>> I thought the whole problem was per definition multi-threaded.
>>> Single-threaded stuff can't get out of sync with itself; you'll always
>>> observe your own stores.
>> And even if you could, you can always execute a local serializing
>> instruction like CPUID to force things.
> What I'm trying to reproduce is something that breaks in single-threaded
> case if I explicitly leave out the CPUID core serializing instruction
> when doing code modification on upcoming code, in a loop.
> AFAIU, Intel requires a core serializing instruction to be issued even
> in single-threaded scenarios between code update and execution, to ensure
> that speculative execution does not observe incoherent code. Now the
> question we all have for Intel is: is this requirement too strong, or
> required by reality ?

In single-threaded execution, a jump is enough.

"As processor microarchitectures become more complex and start to
speculatively execute code ahead of the retire-
ment point (as in P6 and more recent processor families), the rules
regarding which code should execute, pre- or
post-modification, become blurred. To write self-modifying code and
ensure that it is compliant with current and
future versions of the IA-32 architectures, use one of the following
coding options:

(* OPTION 1 *)
Store modified code (as data) into code segment;
Jump to new code or an intermediate location;
Execute new code;"

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