Kernel related (?) user space crash at ARM11 MPCore

Dirk Behme dirk.behme at
Thu Oct 15 11:48:07 EDT 2009

Catalin Marinas wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-10-15 at 15:57 +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
>> On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 11:07:51AM +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
>>> On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 10:44:23AM +0100, Catalin Marinas wrote:
>>>> We would need to fix this somehow as well. We currently handle the
>>>> I-cache in update_mmu_cache() when a page is first mapped if it has
>>>> VM_EXEC set.
>>> The reason I'm pushing you hard to separate the two issues is that the
>>> two should be treated separately.  I think we need to consider ensuring
>>> that freed pages do not have any I-cache lines associated with them,
>>> rather than waiting for them to be allocated and then dealing with the
>>> I-cache problem.
>> Having now benchmarked this (making flush_cache_* always invalidate
>> the I-cache, so free'd pages are I-cache clean), and to me, the results
>> quite look promising - please try out this patch.
>> diff --git a/arch/arm/mm/fault-armv.c b/arch/arm/mm/fault-armv.c
>> index d0d17b6..b9c1cd4 100644
>> --- a/arch/arm/mm/fault-armv.c
>> +++ b/arch/arm/mm/fault-armv.c
>> @@ -160,8 +160,6 @@ void update_mmu_cache(struct vm_area_struct *vma, unsigned long addr, pte_t pte)
>>  	if (mapping) {
>>  		if (cache_is_vivt())
>>  			make_coherent(mapping, vma, addr, pfn);
>> -		else if (vma->vm_flags & VM_EXEC)
>> -			__flush_icache_all();
>>  	}
>>  }
> Before trying the patch, I don't entirely agree with the approach. You
> will get speculative fetches in the I-cache via the kernel linear
> mapping (where NX is always cleared) on newer processors and may end up
> with random faults in user space (not that likely but not impossible
> either).

Just to get a better understanding: With "newer processors" you mean 
Cortex A9? So for ARM11 MPCore the approach should be fine?



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