[RFC PATCH] ARM: uprobes need icache flush after xol write

David Long dave.long at linaro.org
Tue Apr 8 09:29:25 PDT 2014

On 04/08/14 12:19, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 08, 2014 at 08:35:01AM -0700, Victor Kamensky wrote:
>> Looking at flush_ptrace_access more closely. Now I am not sure that
>> ptrace write code could easily reused.
>> 1) flush_ptrace_access seems to handle both data and text segments
>> write. In case of xol write we always know that it is code write
> Of course it has to, but writing code is the harder of the two
> problems.  With writes to data segments, the only thing that has to
> be dealt with is the data cache.  With code, not only do you need to
> deal with the data cache, but you also need to deal with the instruction
> cache too.
>> 2) as I pointed before flush_ptrace_access handles smp case whereas
>> xol write does not need to do that
> Are you sure about that?
> If I'm reading the code correctly, uprobes inserts a trapping instruction
> into the userspace program.  When that instruction is hit, it checks
> whether the thread is the desired one, and may request a slot in this
> magic page, which is when the write happens.
> The uprobes special page is shared across all threads which share the
> mm_struct, so in the case of a multi-threaded program running on a SMP
> machine, this page is visible to multiple CPUs.
> Is it possible for uprobes to be active on more than one thread at a
> time?  If so, because that page is shared, you could end up writing
> to a partial cache line from two threads.  From what I can see, ixol[]
> is two words, and there's normally 8 works per cache line on ARM, or
> occasionally 16.
> So, the question now is: is it possible to have uprobes active on more
> than one thread, and for two threads to hit the uprobes processing, both
> needing a slot in the page, hitting the same cache line?
> Now, what happens if thread 1 on CPU1 gets there first with its write.
> Then thread 2 on CPU2 gets there, causing the cache line to migrate to
> CPU2.  Then CPU1 does it's (non-broadcasted) flush, meanwhile CPU2 then
> gets preempted and goes off and does something else.
> Please tell me that can't happen. :)

 From arch/arm/include/asm/uprobes.h:

3) flush_ptra#define UPROBE_XOL_SLOT_BYTES	64


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