[RFC PATCH] KVM: arm/arm64: Don't let userspace update CNTVOFF once guest is running

Peter Maydell peter.maydell at linaro.org
Thu Jul 9 07:26:20 PDT 2015

On 9 July 2015 at 15:17, Christoffer Dall <christoffer.dall at linaro.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 09, 2015 at 02:24:06PM +0200, Christoffer Dall wrote:
> So I ran this through GDB, and this happens when the guest probes the
> virtio devices, specifically the backtrace tells me that
> virtio_current_cpu_endian () at /root/src/qemu/hw/virtio/virtio.c:594
> => cc->virtio_is_big_endian
>   -> arm_cpu_is_big_endian
>     -> cpu_synchronize_state
>       -> kvm_cpu_synchronize_state
> which causes cpu->kvm_vcpu_dirty = true, which causes the run-loop to
> write the CNTVOFF on a per-vcpu basis without stopping anything, as far
> as I can tell.

Ah, I was wondering if it was going to turn out to be this,
but I hadn't figured out why it was going to cause us to do
a write-back of state rather than just a read.

> So yeah, I guess the only required fix here is to fix QEMU in some way
> as to not fiddle with the timer registers in this way, and then I
> honestly don't know if we should try to fix legacy userspace in the
> kernel, but based on the feedback from Jan, I suppose not.

arm_cpu_is_big_endian() doesn't actually want to write
back any state -- all it's interested in is reading.
So we really ought not to need to write anything back there.
kvm-all.c's sync functions don't seem to provide a "sync
kernel state to userspace but I promise I'm not going to
dirty it" function though. I guess we could add one.

(Overall it's kind of fragile even if we can avoid this
specific case where we're writing back the counter state,
though -- we should probably think about the sync level
stuff as well.)

-- PMM

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