[PATCH v17 07/10] mm: introduce memfd_secret system call to create "secret" memory areas

Michal Hocko mhocko at suse.com
Tue Feb 16 11:51:34 EST 2021

On Tue 16-02-21 08:25:39, James Bottomley wrote:
> On Mon, 2021-02-15 at 20:20 +0100, Michal Hocko wrote:
> [...]
> > > >   What kind of flags are we talking about and why would that be a
> > > > problem with memfd_create interface? Could you be more specific
> > > > please?
> > > 
> > > You mean what were the ioctl flags in the patch series linked
> > > patch 3/5. 
> > 
> > OK I see. How many potential modes are we talking about? A few or
> > potentially many?
> Well I initially thought there were two (uncached or not) until you
> came up with the migratable or non-migratable, which affects the
> security properties.  But now there's also potential for hardware
> backing, like mktme,  described by flags as well.

I do not remember details about mktme but from what I still recall it
had keys associated with direct maps. Is the key management something
that fits into flags management?

> I suppose you could
> also use RDT to restrict which cache the data goes into: say L1 but not
> L2 on to lessen the impact of fully uncached (although the big thrust
> of uncached was to blunt hyperthread side channels).  So there is
> potential for quite a large expansion even though I'd be willing to bet
> that a lot of the modes people have thought about turn out not to be
> very effective in the field.

Are those very HW specific features really viable through a generic
syscall? Don't get me wrong but I find it much more likely somebody will
want a hugetlb (pretty HW independent) without a direct map than a very
close to the HW caching mode soon.

But thanks for the clarification anyway.
Michal Hocko

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