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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 02/28] x86/asm: Replace __force_order with memory clobber
On Thu, Sep 03, 2020 at 01:30:27PM -0700, Sami Tolvanen wrote:
> From: Arvind Sankar <>
> The CRn accessor functions use __force_order as a dummy operand to
> prevent the compiler from reordering CRn reads/writes with respect to
> each other.
> The fact that the asm is volatile should be enough to prevent this:
> volatile asm statements should be executed in program order. However GCC
> 4.9.x and 5.x have a bug that might result in reordering. This was fixed
> in 8.1, 7.3 and 6.5. Versions prior to these, including 5.x and 4.9.x,
> may reorder volatile asm statements with respect to each other.
> There are some issues with __force_order as implemented:
> - It is used only as an input operand for the write functions, and hence
> doesn't do anything additional to prevent reordering writes.
> - It allows memory accesses to be cached/reordered across write
> functions, but CRn writes affect the semantics of memory accesses, so
> this could be dangerous.
> - __force_order is not actually defined in the kernel proper, but the
> LLVM toolchain can in some cases require a definition: LLVM (as well
> as GCC 4.9) requires it for PIE code, which is why the compressed
> kernel has a definition, but also the clang integrated assembler may
> consider the address of __force_order to be significant, resulting in
> a reference that requires a definition.
> Fix this by:
> - Using a memory clobber for the write functions to additionally prevent
> caching/reordering memory accesses across CRn writes.
> - Using a dummy input operand with an arbitrary constant address for the
> read functions, instead of a global variable. This will prevent reads
> from being reordered across writes, while allowing memory loads to be
> cached/reordered across CRn reads, which should be safe.
> Signed-off-by: Arvind Sankar <>

In the primary thread for this patch I sent a Reviewed tag, but for good
measure, here it is again:

Reviewed-by: Kees Cook <>

Kees Cook

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