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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC v1 0/3] Introduce vfio-pci-core subsystem

On 1/28/2021 6:29 PM, Cornelia Huck wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:27:43 +0200
> Max Gurtovoy <> wrote:
>> Hi Alex, Cornelia and Jason,
>> thanks for the reviewing this.
>> On 1/26/2021 5:34 AM, Alex Williamson wrote:
>>> On Mon, 25 Jan 2021 20:45:22 -0400
>>> Jason Gunthorpe <> wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 04:31:51PM -0700, Alex Williamson wrote:
>>>>> We're supposed to be enlightened by a vendor driver that does nothing
>>>>> more than pass the opaque device_data through to the core functions,
>>>>> but in reality this is exactly the point of concern above. At a
>>>>> minimum that vendor driver needs to look at the vdev to get the
>>>>> pdev,
>>>> The end driver already havs the pdev, the RFC doesn't go enough into
>>>> those bits, it is a good comment.
>>>> The dd_data pased to the vfio_create_pci_device() will be retrieved
>>>> from the ops to get back to the end drivers data. This can cleanly
>>>> include everything: the VF pci_device, PF pci_device, mlx5_core
>>>> pointer, vfio_device and vfio_pci_device.
>>>> This is why the example passes in the mvadev:
>>>> + vdev = vfio_create_pci_device(pdev, &mlx5_vfio_pci_ops, mvadev);
>>>> The mvadev has the PF, VF, and mlx5 core driver pointer.
>>>> Getting that back out during the ops is enough to do what the mlx5
>>>> driver needs to do, which is relay migration related IOCTLs to the PF
>>>> function via the mlx5_core driver so the device can execute them on
>>>> behalf of the VF.
>>>>> but then what else does it look at, consume, or modify. Now we have
>>>>> vendor drivers misusing the core because it's not clear which fields
>>>>> are private and how public fields can be used safely,
>>>> The kernel has never followed rigid rules for data isolation, it is
>>>> normal to have whole private structs exposed in headers so that
>>>> container_of can be used to properly compose data structures.
>>> I reject this assertion, there are plenty of structs that clearly
>>> indicate private vs public data or, as we've done in mdev, clearly
>>> marking the private data in a "private" header and provide access
>>> functions for public fields. Including a "private" header to make use
>>> of a "library" is just wrong. In the example above, there's no way for
>>> the mlx vendor driver to get back dd_data without extracting it from
>>> struct vfio_pci_device itself.
>> I'll create a better separation between private/public fields according
>> to my understanding for the V2.
>> I'll just mention that beyond this separation, future improvements will
>> be needed and can be done incrementally.
>> I don't think that we should do so many changes at one shut. The
>> incremental process is safer from subsystem point of view.
>> I also think that upstreaming mlx5_vfio_pci.ko and upstreaming vfio-pci
>> separation into 2 modules doesn't have to happen in one-shut.
> The design can probably benefit from tossing a non-mlx5 driver into the
> mix.
> So, let me suggest the zdev support for that experiment (see
> e6b817d4b8217a9528fcfd59719b924ab8a5ff23 and friends.) It is quite
> straightforward: it injects some capabilities into the info ioctl. A
> specialized driver would basically only need to provide special
> handling for the ioctl callback and just forward anything else. It also
> would not need any matching for device ids etc., as it would only make
> sense on s390x, but regardless of the device. It could, however, help
> us to get an idea what a good split would look like.

AFAIU, s390x is related to IBM architecture and not to a specific PCI
device. So I guess it should stay in the core as many PCI devices will
need these capabilities on IBM system.

I think I'll use NVLINK2 P9 stuff as an example of the split and add it
to vfio_pci.ko instead of vfio_pci_core.ko as a first step.

later we can create a dedicated module for these devices (V100 GPUs).

>> But again, to make our point in this RFC, I'll improve it for V2.
>>>> Look at struct device, for instance. Most of that is private to the
>>>> driver core.
>>>> A few 'private to vfio-pci-core' comments would help, it is good
>>>> feedback to make that more clear.
>>>>> extensions potentially break vendor drivers, etc. We're only even hand
>>>>> waving that existing device specific support could be farmed out to new
>>>>> device specific drivers without even going to the effort to prove that.
>>>> This is a RFC, not a complete patch series. The RFC is to get feedback
>>>> on the general design before everyone comits alot of resources and
>>>> positions get dug in.
>>>> Do you really think the existing device specific support would be a
>>>> problem to lift? It already looks pretty clean with the
>>>> vfio_pci_regops, looks easy enough to lift to the parent.
>>>>> So far the TODOs rather mask the dirty little secrets of the
>>>>> extension rather than showing how a vendor derived driver needs to
>>>>> root around in struct vfio_pci_device to do something useful, so
>>>>> probably porting actual device specific support rather than further
>>>>> hand waving would be more helpful.
>>>> It would be helpful to get actual feedback on the high level design -
>>>> someting like this was already tried in May and didn't go anywhere -
>>>> are you surprised that we are reluctant to commit alot of resources
>>>> doing a complete job just to have it go nowhere again?
>>> That's not really what I'm getting from your feedback, indicating
>>> vfio-pci is essentially done, the mlx stub driver should be enough to
>>> see the direction, and additional concerns can be handled with TODO
>>> comments. Sorry if this is not construed as actual feedback, I think
>>> both Connie and I are making an effort to understand this and being
>>> hampered by lack of a clear api or a vendor driver that's anything more
>>> than vfio-pci plus an aux bus interface. Thanks,
>> I think I got the main idea and I'll try to summarize it:
>> The separation to vfio-pci.ko and vfio-pci-core.ko is acceptable, and we
>> do need it to be able to create vendor-vfio-pci.ko driver in the future
>> to include vendor special souse inside.
> One other thing I'd like to bring up: What needs to be done in
> userspace? Does a userspace driver like QEMU need changes to actually
> exploit this? Does management software like libvirt need to be involved
> in decision making, or does it just need to provide the knobs to make
> the driver configurable?
>> The separation implementation and the question of what is private and
>> what is public, and the core APIs to the various drivers should be
>> improved or better demonstrated in the V2.
>> I'll work on improving it and I'll send the V2.
>> If you have some feedback of the things/fields/structs you think should
>> remain private to vfio-pci-core please let us know.
>> Thanks for the effort in the review,
>> -Max.
>>> Alex

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