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Re: [Xen-devel] Unifying x86_64 / Xen init paths and reading hardware_subarch early

On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 03:47:25PM -0800, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 2:08 PM, Luis R. Rodriguez <mcgrof@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > I will be respinning the generic Linux linker table solution [0] soon
> > based on hpa's feedback again now that I'm back from vacation. As I do
> > that though I wanted to highlight a feature I'm throwing into the
> > linker table solution which I am not sure many have paid close
> > attention to but I think is important to Xen. I'm making use of the
> > zero page hardware_subarch to enable us to detect if we're a specific
> > hypervisor solution *as early as is possible*. This has a few
> > implications, short term it is designed to provides a proactive
> > technical solution to bugs such as the cr4 shadow crash (see
> > 5054daa285beaf706f051fbd395dc36c9f0f907f) and ensure that *new* x86
> > features get a proper Xen implementation proactively *or* at the very
> > least get annotated as unsupported properly, instead of having them
> > crash and later finding out. A valid example here is Kasan, which to
> > this day lacks proper Xen support. In the future, if the generic
> > linker table solution gets merged, it would mean developers would have
> > to *think* about if they support Xen or not at development time. It
> > does this in a not-disruptive way to Xen / x86_64 but most
> > *importantly* it does not extend pvops! This should avoid issues in
> > cases of developer / maintainer bandwidth, should some new features be
> > pushed onto Linux for x86_64 but a respective Xen solution is not
> > addressed, and that was not caught early in patch review, such as with
> > Kasan.
> >
> > [0] 
> > https://lkml.kernel.org/r/1450217797-19295-1-git-send-email-mcgrof@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> >
> > Two things I'd like to request a bit of help with and review / 
> > consideration:
> >
> > 1) I'd like some advice on a curious problem I've stumbled on. I'd
> > like to access hardware_subarch super early, and in my review with at
> > least two x86 folks this *should* work:
> >
> > diff --git a/arch/x86/kernel/head64.c b/arch/x86/kernel/head64.c
> > index c913b7eb5056..9168842821c8 100644
> > --- a/arch/x86/kernel/head64.c
> > +++ b/arch/x86/kernel/head64.c
> > @@ -141,6 +141,7 @@ static void __init copy_bootdata(char *real_mode_data)
> >
> >  asmlinkage __visible void __init x86_64_start_kernel(char * real_mode_data)
> >  {
> > + struct boot_params *params = (struct boot_params *)__va(real_mode_data);
> >   int i;
> This is a mess :-p

Agreed. Doing what I can without extending pvops though ;)

> If you want to access real_mode_data before load_idt, you'll need to do:
>     for (i = 0; i < sizeof(boot_params); i += 4096)
>         early_make_pgtable((unsigned long)params + i);

Thanks I'll give this a shot.

> Of course, it's entirely possible that that will blow up if you try to
> do it on Xen.

I'll check, if its safe and if the subarch strategy is desirable to help with
unifying init, then great. Otherwise we'd need to figure this out.

> I think this would all be easier to understand if you try to separate
> out the ideas of linker tables from the idea of rearranging early
> init.

Oh absolutely. The goal to unify init *or* to access subarch earlier provides
slightly different gains and possiblities. This is why I am addressing this
separately. Its important to highlight the prospects though given I think a few
folks may not have realized what might be possible here...

>  AFAICT the linker table thing is just an implementation detail.

Indeed, but just as a linker table is one thing, the *use* of the linker table
for x86 early init is another. Its a good example how how to use the linker
tables though.

The things I make mention of here are just possible *enhancements* of that work
provided the subarch can be read earlier.  Another possibility which I also had
not mentioned is the ability to also free annotated code on x86 init which we
*know* for sure we don't need, much as __init code after we boot, only this
could be done later at run time. That's also best technically considered later
but perhaps worth mentioning now as a future possibility.

Although the linker table series does not address unifying init, in this thread
we are talking about the prospect of being able to do that in the future. Its
best to consider this early than late.

> If I understand right, you're trying to unify the Xen and native
> startup as much as possible. 

That ultimately is a possibility. The original patches don't do that though.
They just pave the way with linker tables as baby steps.

Without access to the subarch so early unifying init is not possible with a
linker table solution though. As the series was posted though its late use
(after load_idt()) still holds promise to help annotate subarch support, which
in turn also helps provide dependency maps. This should help with a proactive
solution to ensure x86 developers think about x86 early requirements. Only
that gain would be restricted to after load_idt().

> Why not add little shims, though?
> Create a new start_kernel_common(int subarch, ...) where subarch
> indicates native vs Xen and have its callers tell it which mode it's
> in?

That's possible too, if you think that's best. However the subarch is already
part of the zero page, so figured why not just make use of it. Also if you make
use of it, it may even be possible to unify x86 init even on the asm front if
we ultimately even wanted that. One of the gains of striving to unify inits
*and* having a subarch dependency annotated for features is its a proactive
measure to ensure developers think of the different x86 requirements. If we
use the shim we may be able to unify some code but there would still be
some area not addressed. My litmus test was to try to strive to address
features such as Kasan, and that required even earlier subarch access.


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