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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 2/3] x86: fix setup of brk area
On 29.06.22 19:14, Josh Poimboeuf wrote:
> Hi Juergen,
> It helps to actually Cc the person who broke it ;-)
> On Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 11:46:07AM +0200, Juergen Gross wrote:
>> Commit e32683c6f7d2 ("x86/mm: Fix RESERVE_BRK() for older binutils")
>> put the brk area into the .bss..brk section (placed directly behind
>> .bss),
> Hm? It didn't actually do that.
> For individual translation units, it did rename the section from
> ".brk_reservation" to ".bss..brk". But then during linking it's still
> placed in .brk in vmlinux, just like before.

Sorry, I misread the patch commit message and was fooled by the fact that
bisection clearly pointed at this patch to have introduced the problem.

I only discovered later that the main issue was the added "NOLOAD"

>> causing it not to be cleared initially. As the brk area is used
>> to allocate early page tables, these might contain garbage in not
>> explicitly written entries.
>> This is especially a problem for Xen PV guests, as the hypervisor will
>> validate page tables (check for writable page tables and hypervisor
>> private bits) before accepting them to be used. There have been reports
>> of early crashes of PV guests due to illegal page table contents.
>> Fix that by letting clear_bss() clear the brk area, too.
> While it does make sense to clear the brk area, I don't understand how
> my patch broke this. How was it getting cleared before?

It seemed to have worked by chance. The Xen hypervisor is clearing all
alloc-only sections when loading a kernel (this will "fix" the dom0
case reliably together with patch 3 of this series).

Grub might do the clearing, too (for the PV domU case), but I haven't
verified that by code inspection.

I'll drop the "Fixes:" tag.

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