From: "Jason A. Donenfeld" <Jason@zx2c4.com> To: "Kim, David" <email@example.com>, Greg KH <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Magee, Tim" <email@example.com>, Arnd Bergmann <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: nCipher HSM kernel driver submission feedback request Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 00:49:57 -0600 [thread overview] Message-ID: <email@example.com> (raw) In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Hi Dave, I took a look at your driver to try to understand what's going on here and what the disagreement is all about. It looks like this is some sort of PCIe HSM device. As far as I know, Linux doesn't have a standardized API for HSM devices (somebody correct me if I'm wrong), and probably that doesn't quite make sense, either, seeing as most HSMs are accessed anyway through userspace "drivers" -- that is, via libusb or over some networking protocol, or something else. Your situation is different in that it uses PCIe, so you need some kernel mediation in order to give access to your userspace components. And, different manufacturers' HSMs expose very different pieces of functionality, and I'm not sure a unified API for them would even make sense. It looks like this driver exposes some device file, with a few IOCTLs and then support for reading and writing from and to the device. Besides some driver control things, what actually goes into the device -- that is, the protocol one must use to talk to the thing -- isn't actually described by the driver. You're just shuffling bytes in and out with some mediation around that. Can you confirm to me whether or not the above is accurate? If so, then I'm not sure this belongs in the purview of the crypto list or has anything much to do with Linux crypto. This is a PCIe driver for some hardware that userspace has to talk to in order to do some stuff with it. However, there's something else that you wrote that might make people less inclined to merge this: > Our driver code is just a tube between proprietary code on the host machine and proprietary code on the HSM. It sounds like you need the kernel to expose your PCIe device in a way userspace can access, so that you can talk to it using proprietary code. In other words, this is a kernel driver that exists only to support closed source components. I have no idea about "official policy" on this matter, but I could imagine some people howling about it. On the other hand, the driver _is_ doing something, and it seems like your hardware is somewhat complicated to interface with, and who wouldn't want an open source driver for that, even if it's just the low-level kernel/PCIe components? Anyway, if my suppositions above are indeed correct, I'd encourage you to submit your driver to whoever maintains drivers/misc/ (Greg and Arnd, IIRC), and ignore the fact that your hardware has something to do with cryptography (though little to do with the Linux crypto API's range of responsibilities). Jason
next prev parent reply other threads:[~2020-03-23 6:50 UTC|newest] Thread overview: 8+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top 2020-03-13 9:48 Kim, David 2020-03-13 10:09 ` Greg KH 2020-03-16 10:44 ` Kim, David 2020-03-16 11:23 ` Greg KH 2020-03-23 6:49 ` Jason A. Donenfeld [this message] 2020-03-23 13:32 ` Kim, David 2020-03-23 13:59 ` Greg KH 2020-04-17 15:12 ` Kim, David
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