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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3 04/10] KVM: Implement kvm_put_guest()
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On 22/08/2019 16:28, Sean Christopherson wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 04:36:50PM +0100, Steven Price wrote:
>> kvm_put_guest() is analogous to put_user() - it writes a single value to
>> the guest physical address. The implementation is built upon put_user()
>> and so it has the same single copy atomic properties.
>
> What you mean by "single copy atomic"? I.e. what guarantees does
> put_user() provide that __copy_to_user() does not?

Single-copy atomicity is defined by the Arm architecture[1] and I'm not
going to try to go into the full details here, so this is a summary.

For the sake of this feature what we care about is that the value
written/read cannot be "torn". In other words if there is a read (in
this case from another VCPU) that is racing with the write then the read
will either get the old value or the new value. It cannot return a
mixture. (This is of course assuming that the read is using a
single-copy atomic safe method).

__copy_to_user() is implemented as a memcpy() and as such cannot provide
single-copy atomicity in the general case (the buffer could easily be
bigger than the architecture can guarantee).

put_user() on the other hand is implemented (on arm64) as an explicit
store instruction and therefore is guaranteed by the architecture to be
single-copy atomic (i.e. another CPU cannot see a half-written value).

Steve

[1] https://static.docs.arm.com/ddi0487/ea/DDI0487E_a_armv8_arm.pdf#page=110

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