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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC 1/5] cpu/speculation: Add 'cpu_spec_mitigations=' cmdline options
On Thu, Apr 04, 2019 at 11:44:11AM -0500, Josh Poimboeuf wrote:
> Keeping track of the number of mitigations for all the CPU speculation
> bugs has become overwhelming for many users. It's getting more and more
> complicated to decide which mitigations are needed for a given
> architecture. Complicating matters is the fact that each arch tends to
> their own custom way to mitigate the same vulnerability.

Yap, we definitely need something like that.

> Most users fall into a few basic categories:
> a) they want all mitigations off;
> b) they want all reasonable mitigations on, with SMT enabled even if
> it's vulnerable; or

Uff, "reasonable" - there's the bikeshed waiting to happen.

> c) they want all reasonable mitigations on, with SMT disabled if
> vulnerable.
> Define a set of curated, arch-independent options, each of which is an
> aggregation of existing options:
> - cpu_spec_mitigations=off: Disable all mitigations.

"cpu_spec_mitigations" is too long, TBH.

Imagine yourself in a loud, noisy data center - you basically can't wait
to leave - crouched over a keyboard in an impossible position, having
to type that thing and then making a typo. Whoops, too late, already
pressed Enter. Shiiiit!

Now you have to wait at least 15 mins for the damn single-threaded added
value BIOS crap to noodle through all the cores just so you can try
again, because you just rebooted the box.

And I know, my ideas for shorter cmdline options are crazy, like


which people would say, yuck, unreadable...

Oh, I know! How about



We already have /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities so it'll be the
same as that. Less things to remember.

> - cpu_spec_mitigations=auto: [default] Enable all the default
> mitigations, but leave SMT enabled, even if it's vulnerable.
> - cpu_spec_mitigations=auto,nosmt: Enable all the default mitigations,
> disabling SMT if needed by a mitigation.

Yah, the suboption choices make sense to me.

> Currently, these options are placeholders which don't actually do
> anything. They will be fleshed out in upcoming patches.
> Signed-off-by: Josh Poimboeuf <>
> ---
> .../admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt | 23 +++++++++++++++++++
> include/linux/cpu.h | 8 +++++++
> kernel/cpu.c | 15 ++++++++++++
> 3 files changed, 46 insertions(+)
> diff --git a/Documentation/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt b/Documentation/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt
> index c4d830003b21..ac42e510bd6e 100644
> --- a/Documentation/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt
> +++ b/Documentation/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt
> @@ -2544,6 +2544,29 @@
> in the "bleeding edge" mini2440 support kernel at
> + cpu_spec_mitigations=
> + [KNL] Control mitigations for CPU speculation
> + vulnerabilities on affected CPUs. This is a set of
> + curated, arch-independent options, each of which is an
> + aggregation of existing options.
> +
> + off
> + Disable all speculative CPU mitigations.

Alias to



Good mailing practices for 400: avoid top-posting and trim the reply.

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