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

David Hildenbrand david at redhat.com
Tue Feb 16 12:16:36 EST 2021

>>   For the other parts, the question is what we actually want to let
>> user space configure.
>> Being able to specify "Very secure" "maximum secure" "average
>> secure"  all doesn't really make sense to me.
> Well, it doesn't to me either unless the user feels a cost/benefit, so
> if max cost $100 per invocation and average cost nothing, most people
> would chose average unless they had a very good reason not to.  In your
> migratable model, if we had separate limits for non-migratable and
> migratable, with non-migratable being set low to prevent exhaustion,
> max secure becomes a highly scarce resource, whereas average secure is
> abundant then having the choice might make sense.

I hope that we can find a way to handle the migration part internally. 
Especially, because Mike wants the default to be "as secure as 
possible", so if there is a flag, it would have to be an opt-out flag.

I guess as long as we don't temporarily map it into the "owned" location 
in the direct map shared by all VCPUs we are in a good positon. But this 
needs more thought, of course.

>>   The discussion regarding migratability only really popped up because
>> this is a user-visible thing and not being able to migrate can be a
>> real problem (fragmentation, ZONE_MOVABLE, ...).
> I think the biggest use will potentially come from hardware
> acceleration.  If it becomes simple to add say encryption to a secret
> page with no cost, then no flag needed.  However, if we only have a
> limited number of keys so once we run out no more encrypted memory then
> it becomes a costly resource and users might want a choice of being
> backed by encryption or not.

Right. But wouldn't HW support with configurable keys etc. need more 
syscall parameters (meaning, even memefd_secret() as it is would not be 
sufficient?). I suspect the simplistic flag approach might not be 
sufficient. I might be wrong because I have no clue about MKTME and friends.

Anyhow, I still think extending memfd_create() might just be good enough 
- at least for now. Things like HW support might have requirements we 
don't even know yet and that we cannot even model in memfd_secret() 
right now.


David / dhildenb

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