[PATCH 2/2] arm64: Configure kernel's PTR_AUTH key when it is built with PTR_AUTH.

Daniel Kiss Daniel.Kiss at arm.com
Wed Dec 9 06:56:18 EST 2020

> On 9 Dec 2020, at 11:51, Will Deacon <will at kernel.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 08, 2020 at 11:33:33AM -0800, Peter Collingbourne wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 3:00 AM Catalin Marinas <catalin.marinas at arm.com> wrote:
>>> On Mon, Dec 07, 2020 at 03:07:07PM -0800, Peter Collingbourne wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Dec 7, 2020 at 2:46 PM Daniel Kiss <daniel.kiss at arm.com> wrote:
>>>>> If the kernel is not compiled with CONFIG_ARM64_PTR_AUTH_KERNEL,
>>>>> then the kernel does not need a key and kernel's key could be disabled.
>>>>> Signed-off-by: Daniel Kiss <daniel.kiss at arm.com>
>>>>> ---
>>>>> arch/arm64/include/asm/asm_pointer_auth.h | 68 ++++++++++++++++-------
>>>>> arch/arm64/include/asm/processor.h        |  2 +
>>>>> arch/arm64/kernel/asm-offsets.c           |  4 ++
>>>>> 3 files changed, 55 insertions(+), 19 deletions(-)
>>>>> diff --git a/arch/arm64/include/asm/asm_pointer_auth.h b/arch/arm64/include/asm/asm_pointer_auth.h
>>>>> index 52dead2a8640..af3d16027e8f 100644
>>>>> --- a/arch/arm64/include/asm/asm_pointer_auth.h
>>>>> +++ b/arch/arm64/include/asm/asm_pointer_auth.h
>>>>> @@ -14,6 +14,12 @@
>>>>>  * thread.keys_user.ap*.
>>>>>  */
>>>>>        .macro ptrauth_keys_install_user tsk, tmp1, tmp2, tmp3
>>>>> +       /* Reenable A key */
>>>>> +       mrs     \tmp1, sctlr_el1
>>>>> +       orr     \tmp1, \tmp1, SCTLR_ELx_ENIA
>>>>> +       msr     sctlr_el1, \tmp1
>>>>> +#endif
>>>> We should avoid an unconditional MSR on exit like this as it is
>>>> expensive (for my PR_PAC_SET_ENABLED_KEYS series I measured the cost
>>>> of entry/exit MSR as 43.7ns on Cortex-A75 and 33.0ns on Apple M1). In
>>>> that series I take care not to touch SCTLR_EL1 unless necessary.
>>>> Likewise for the MSRs on entry below.
>>> I think that's how Daniel attempted the first (internal) version of
>>> these patches. In theory you don't need to touch SCTLR_ELx_EN* at all as
>>> long as the kernel does not use any PAC instructions. However, I was
>>> a bit concerned about this and thought it's safer if, when
>>> !CONFIG_ARM64_PTR_AUTH_KERNEL, the EnIA bit is cleared while in the
>>> kernel.
>>> If we can guarantee that the compiler does not generate any PAC
>>> instructions (it may assume they are no-ops) and vendor modules don't
>>> have such instructions either, we may be able to relax this.
>> The way I see it it isn't too different from the current prohibition
>> on using IB in the kernel (and to a lesser extent DA/DB/GA since those
>> can't be accessed from nop-space as far as I'm aware), or NEON
>> instructions in most parts of the kernel, or the stack protector
>> cookie when building with -fno-stack-protector etc. i.e. if you do
>> that then you're breaking the ABI.
>> Is your concern that distributions may default to enabling
>> -mbranch-protection which would result in the PAC instructions being
>> used? To address that I think it is reasonable to expect the compiler
>> not to use PAC instructions when passing -mbranch-protection=none, and
>> if the compiler does so then that is a bug in the compiler.
> I'm inclined to agree. At the very least, I think we should start from a
> position where we assume the compiler doesn't randomly emit these
> instructions, and then we can revisit that decision in future if it turns
> out to be wrong.

I agree the compiler shall not emit these instructions when not requested.
I have two corner cases to consider:
Assembly code may contain pac/aut instructions unconditionally, like:

A module may be compiled against a kernel with CONFIG_ARM64_PTR_AUTH_KERNEL=y
but later it is loaded on a kernel which is built with CONFIG_ARM64_PTR_AUTH_KERNEL=n.
If the key is not disabled here, the CONFIG_ARM64_PTR_AUTH_KERNEL is 
part of the KMI otherwise not.


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