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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH v5 0/5] vfio-pci: Add support for mmapping MSI-X table
On Wed, 2017-08-16 at 10:56 -0600, Alex Williamson wrote:
> > WTF ???? Alex, can you stop once and for all with all that "POWER is
> > not standard" bullshit please ? It's completely wrong.
> As you've stated, the MSI-X vector table on POWER is currently updated
> via a hypercall. POWER is overall PCI compliant (I assume), but the
> guest does not directly modify the vector table in MMIO space of the
> device. This is important...

Well no. On qemu the guest doesn't always (but it can save/restore it),
but on PowerVM this is done by the FW running inside the partition
itself. And that firmware just does normal stores to the device table.

IE. The problem here isn't so much who does the actual stores to the
device table but where they get the address and data values from, which
isn't covered by the spec.

The added fact that qemu hijacks the stores not just to "remap" them
but also do the whole reuqesting of the interrupt etc... in the host
system is a qemu design choice which also hasn't any relation to the
spec (and arguably isnt' a great choice for our systems).

For example, on PowerVM, the HV assigns a pile of MSIs to the guest to
assign to its devices. The FW inside the guest does a default
assignment but that can be changed.

Thus the interrupts are effectively "hooked up" at the HV level at the
point where the PCI bridge is mapped into the guest.

> > This has nothing to do with PCIe standard !
> Yes, it actually does, because if the guest relies on the vector table
> to be virtualized then it doesn't particularly matter whether the
> vfio-pci kernel driver allows that portion of device MMIO space to be
> directly accessed or mapped because QEMU needs for it to be trapped in
> order to provide that virtualization.

And this has nothing to do with the PCIe standard... this has
everything to do with a combination of qemu design choices and
defficient FW interfaces on x86 platforms.

> I'm not knocking POWER, it's a smart thing for virtualization to have
> defined this hypercall which negates the need for vector table
> virtualization and allows efficient mapping of the device. On other
> platform, it's not necessarily practical given the broad base of legacy
> guests supported where we'd never get agreement to implement this as
> part of the platform spec... if there even was such a thing. Maybe we
> could provide the hypercall and dynamically enable direct vector table
> mapping (disabling vector table virtualization) only if the hypercall
> is used.

No I think a better approach would be to provide the guest with a pile
of MSIs to use with devices and have FW (such as ACPI) tell the guest
about them.

> > The PCIe standard says strictly *nothing* whatsoever about how an OS
> > obtains the magic address/values to put in the device and how the PCIe
> > host bridge may do appropriate fitering.
> And now we've jumped the tracks... The only way the platform specific
> address/data values become important is if we allow direct access to
> the vector table AND now we're formulating how the user/guest might
> write to it directly. Otherwise the virtualization of the vector
> table, or paravirtualization via hypercall provides the translation
> where the host and guest address/data pairs can operate in completely
> different address spaces.

They can regardless if things are done properly :-)

> > There is nothing on POWER that prevents the guest from writing the MSI-
> > X address/data by hand. The problem isn't who writes the values or even
> > how. The problem breaks down into these two things that are NOT covered
> > by any aspect of the PCIe standard:
> You've moved on to a different problem, I think everyone aside from
> POWER is still back at the problem where who writes the vector table
> values is a forefront problem.
> > 1- The OS needs to obtain address/data values for an MSI that will
> > "work" for the device.
> >
> > 2- The HW+HV needs to prevent collateral damage caused by a device
> > issuing stores to incorrect address or with incorrect data. Now *this*
> > is necessary for *ANY* kind of DMA whether it's an MSI or something
> > else anyway.
> >
> > Now, the filtering done by qemu is NOT a reasonable way to handle 2)
> > and whatever excluse about "making it harder" doesn't fly a meter when
> > it comes to security. Making it "harder to break accidentally" I also
> > don't buy, people don't just randomly put things in their MSI-X tables
> > "accidentally", that stuff works or doesn't.
> As I said before, I'm not willing to preserve the weak attributes that
> blocking direct vector table access provides over pursuing a more
> performant interface, but I also don't think their value is absolute
> zero either.
> > That leaves us with 1). Now this is purely a platform specific matters,
> > not a spec matter. Once the HW has a way to enforce you can only
> > generate "allowed" MSIs it becomes a matter of having some FW mechanism
> > that can be used to informed the OS what address/values to use for a
> > given interrupts.
> >
> > This is provided on POWER by a combination of device-tree and RTAS. It
> > could be that x86/ARM64 doesn't provide good enough mechanisms via ACPI
> > but this is no way a problem of standard compliance, just inferior
> > firmware interfaces.
> Firmware pissing match... Processors running with 8k or less page size
> fall within the recommendations of the PCI spec for register alignment
> of MMIO regions of the device and this whole problem becomes less of an
> issue.
> > So again, for the 234789246th time in years, can we get that 1-bit-of-
> > information sorted one way or another so we can fix our massive
> > performance issue instead of adding yet another dozen layers of paint
> > on that shed ?
> TBH, I'm not even sure which bikeshed we're looking at with this latest
> distraction of interfaces through which the user/guest could discover
> viable address/data values to write the vector table directly. Thanks,
> Alex

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