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From: Christoffer Dall <>
Cc: Marc Zyngier <>,,,
	Ard Biesheuvel <>,
	Paolo Bonzini <>,,
Subject: Memory regions and VMAs across architectures
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2019 12:19:20 +0100
Message-ID: <> (raw)


I had a look at our relatively complicated logic in
kvm_arch_prepare_memory_region(), and was wondering if there was room to
unify some of this handling between architectures.

(If you haven't seen our implementation, you can find it in
virt/kvm/arm/mmu.c, and it has lovely ASCII art!)

I then had a look at the x86 code, but that doesn't actually do anything
when creating memory regions, which makes me wonder why the arhitectures
differ in this aspect.

The reason we added the logic that we have for arm/arm64 is that we
don't really want to take faults for I/O accesses.  I'm not actually
sure if this is a corretness thing, or an optimization effort, and the
original commit message doesn't really explain.  Ard, you wrote that
code, do you recall the details?

In any case, what we do is to check for each VMA backing a memslot, we
check if the memslot flags and vma flags are a reasonable match, and we
try to detect I/O mappings by looking for the VM_PFNMAP flag on the VMA
and pre-populate stage 2 page tables (our equivalent of EPT/NPT/...).
However, there are some things which are not clear to me:

First, what prevents user space from messing around with the VMAs after
kvm_arch_prepare_memory_region() completes?  If nothing, then what is
the value of the cheks we perform wrt. to VMAs?

Second, why would arm/arm64 need special handling for I/O mappings
compared to other architectures, and how is this dealt with for
x86/s390/power/... ?



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Thread overview: 6+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-11-08 11:19 Christoffer Dall [this message]
2019-11-08 13:59 ` Ard Biesheuvel
2019-11-20  3:44 ` Sean Christopherson
2019-11-20 11:52   ` Christoffer Dall
2019-11-20 15:28     ` Sean Christopherson
2019-11-21  9:40       ` Christoffer Dall

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