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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/8] perf/x86/intel: Fix memory corruption
On Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 1:47 PM Stephane Eranian <eranian@google.com> wrote:
>
> On Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 11:20 AM Peter Zijlstra <peterz@infradead.org> wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 10:52:01AM -0700, Stephane Eranian wrote:
> > > > Not quite; the control on its own doesn't directly write the MSR. And
> > > > even when the work-around is allowed, we'll not set the MSR unless there
> > > > is also demand for PMC3.
> > > >
> > > Trying to understand this better here. When the workaround is enabled
> > > (tfa=0), you lose PMC3 and transactions operate normally.
> >
> > > When it is disabled (tfa=1), transactions are all aborted and PMC3 is
> > > available.
> >
> > Right, but we don't expose tfa.
> >
> > > If you are saying that when there is a PMU event requesting PMC3, then
> > > you need PMC3 avail, so you set the MSR so that tfa=1 forcing all
> > > transactions to abort.
> >
> > Right, so when allow_tfa=1 (default), we only set tfa=1 when PMC3 is
> > requested.
> >
> > This has the advantage that,
> >
> > TSX only workload -> works
> > perf 4 counteres -> works
> >
> > Only when you need both of them, do you get 'trouble'.
> >
> > > But in that case, you are modifying the execution of the workload when
> > > you are monitoring it, assuming it uses TSX.
> >
> > We assume you are not in fact using TSX, not a lot of code does. If you
> > do use TSX a lot, and you don't want to interfere, you have to set
> > allow_tfa=0 and live with one counter less.
> >
> > Any which way around you turn this stone, it sucks.
> >
> > > You want lowest overhead and no modifications to how the workload
> > > operates, otherwise how representative is the data you are collecting?
> >
> > Sure; but there are no good choices here. This 'fix' will break
> > something. We figured TSX+4-counter-perf was the least common scenario.
> >
> > We konw of people that rely on 4 counter being present; you want to
> > explain to them how when doing an update their program suddently doesn't
> > work anymore?
> >
> > Or you want to default to tfa=1; but then you have to explain to those
> > people relying on TSX why their workload stopped working.
> >
> > > I understand that there is no impact on apps not using TSX, well,
> > > except on context switch where you have to toggle that MSR.
> >
> > There is no additional code in the context switch; only the perf event
> > scheduling code prods at the MSR.
> >
> > > But for workloads using TSX, there is potentially an impact.
> >
> > Yes, well, if you're a TSX _and_ perf user, you now have an extra knob
> > to play with; that's not something I can do anything about. We're forced
> > to make a choice here.
> >
> > > > Yeah, meh. You're admin, you can 'fix' it. In practise I don't expect
> > > > most people to care about the knob, and the few people that do, should
> > > > be able to make it work.
> > >
> > > I don't understand how this can work reliably.
> >
> > > You have a knob to toggle that MSR.
> >
> > No, we don't have this knob.
> >
> > > Then, you have another one inside perf_events
> >
> > Only this knob exists allow_tfa.
> >
> > > and then the sysadmin has to make sure nobody (incl. NMI watchdog) is
> > > using the PMU when this all happens.
> >
> > You're very unlucky if the watchdog runs on PMC3, normally it runs on
> > Fixed1 or something. Esp early after boot. (Remember, we schedule fixed
> > counters first, and then general purpose counters, with a preference for
> > lower counters).
> >
> > Anyway, you can trivially switch it off if you want.
> >
> > > How can this be a practical solution? Am I missing something here?
> >
> > It works just fine; it is unfortunate that we have this interaction but
> > that's not something we can do anything about. We're forced to deal with
> > this.
> >
> Right now, if I do:
>
> echo 0 > /sys/bus/event_source/devices/cpu/allow_tsx_force_abort
>
> Then I don't have the guarantee on when there will be no abort when I
> return from the echo.
> the MSR is accessed only on PMU scheduling. I would expect a sysadmin
> to want some guarantee
> if this is to be switched on/off at runtime. If not, then having a
> boot time option is better in my opinion.
>
> This other bit I noticed is that cpuc->tfa_shadow is used to avoid the
> wrmsr(), but I don't see the
> code that makes sure the init value (0) matches the value of the MSR.
> Is this MSR guarantee to be
> zero on reset? How about on kexec()?
>

Furthermore, depending on what is measured on each CPU, i.e., PMC3 is
used or not,
the TFA may be set to true or false dynamically. So if you have a TSX
workload it may
be impacted depending on which CPU it runs on. I don't think users would like
that approach.


> > But if you're a TSX+perf user, have your boot scripts do:
> >
> > echo 0 > /sys/bus/event_source/devices/cpu/allow_tsx_force_abort
> >
> > and you'll not use PMC3 and TSX will be 'awesome'. If you don't give a
> > crap about TSX (most people), just boot and be happy.
> >
> > If you do care about TSX+perf and want to dynamically toggle for some
> > reason, you just have to be a little careful.

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