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SubjectRe: [PATCH v4 03/12] arm64: Remove the ability to build a kernel without ssbd

Thanks for taking a look at this:

On 2/15/19 12:20 PM, Catalin Marinas wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 06:04:15PM +0000, Andre Przywara wrote:
>> On Fri, 25 Jan 2019 12:07:02 -0600
>> Jeremy Linton <> wrote:
>>> Buried behind EXPERT is the ability to build a kernel without
>>> SSBD, this needlessly clutters up the code as well as creates
>>> the opportunity for bugs. It also removes the kernel's ability
>>> to determine if the machine its running on is vulnerable.
>> I don't know the original motivation for this config option, typically
>> they are not around for no reason.
>> I see the benefit of dropping those config options, but we want to make
>> sure that people don't start hacking around to remove them again.
>>> Since its also possible to disable it at boot time, lets remove
>>> the config option.
>> Given the level of optimisation a compiler can do with the state being
>> known at compile time, I would imagine that it's not the same (though
>> probably very close).
>> But that's not my call, it would be good to hear some maintainer's
>> opinion on this.
> Having spoken to Will, we'd rather keep the config options if possible.
> Even if they are behind EXPERT and default y, they come in handy when
> debugging.
> Can we still have the sysfs information regardless of whether the config
> is enabled or not? IOW, move the #ifdefs around to always have the
> detection while being able to disable the actual workarounds via config?

Yes, that is possible, but the ifdef'ing gets even worse. (see v3).

> Are the code paths between config and cmdline disabling identical? At a
> quick look I got the impression they are not exactly the same.

No, they do vary slightly. For debugging I would expect that the CONFIG
disabled code paths to be the one that accumulates bugs over time. The
command line options just force the runtime vulnerable/not-vulnerable
decision, which should be the code paths in general use. For benchmark
the run-time options are also a better choice because they don't have
any 2nd order affects caused by code alignment/etc changes.

Maybe your implying the CONFIG_ options should basically force the
command line? That both reduces the code paths, and simplifies the

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