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Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC v1 4/8] x86/init: add linker table support

On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 1:41 PM, H. Peter Anvin <hpa@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 01/20/16 13:33, Luis R. Rodriguez wrote:
>> That's correct for PV and PVH, likewise when qemu is required for HVM
>> qemu could set it. I have the qemu change done but that should only
>> cover HVM. A common place to set this as well could be the hypervisor,
>> but currently the hypervisor doesn't set any boot_params, instead a
>> generic struct is passed and the kernel code (for any OS) is expected
>> to interpret this and then set the required values for the OS in the
>> init path. Long term though if we wanted to merge init further one way
>> could be to have the hypervisor just set the zero page cleanly for the
>> different modes. If we needed more data other than the
>> hardware_subarch we also have the hardware_subarch_data, that's a u64
>> , and how that is used would be up to the subarch. In Xen's case it
>> could do what it wants with it. That would still mean perhaps defining
>> as part of a Xen boot protocol a place where xen specific code can
>> count on finding more Xen data passed by the hypervisor, the
>> xen_start_info. That is, if we wanted to merge init paths this is
>> something to consider.
>> One thing I considered on the question of who should set the zero page
>> for Xen with the prospect of merging inits, or at least this subarch
>> for both short term and long term are the obvious implications in
>> terms of hypervisor / kernel / qemu combination requirements if the
>> subarch is needed. Having it set in the kernel is an obvious immediate
>> choice for PV / PVH but it means we can't merge init paths completely
>> (down to asm inits), we'd still be able to merge some C init paths
>> though, the first entry would still be different. Having the zero page
>> set on the hypervisor would go long ways but it would mean a
>> hypervisor change required.
>> These prospects are worth discussing, specially in light of Boris's
>> hvmlite work.
> The above doesn't make sense to me.  hardware_subarch is really used
> when the boot sequence is somehow nonstandard.

Thanks for the feedback -- as it stands today hardware_subarch is only
used by lguest, Moorestown, and CE4100 even though we had definitions
for it for Xen -- this is not used yet. Its documentation does make
references to differences for a paravirtualized environment, and uses
a few examples but doesn't go into great depths about restrictions so
its limitations in how we could use it were not clear to me.

>  HVM probably doesn't need that.

Today HVM doesn't need it, but perhaps that is because it has not
needed changes early on boot. Will it, or could it? I'd even invite us
to consider the same for other hypervisors or PV hypervisors. I'll
note that things like cpu_has_hypervisor() or derivatives
(kvm_para_available() which is now used on drivers even, see
sound/pci/intel8x0.c) requires init_hypervisor_platform() run, in
terms of the x86 init sequence this is run pretty late at
setup_arch(). Should code need to know hypervisor info anytime before
that they have no generic option available.

I'm fine if we want to restrict hardware_subarch but I'll note the
semantics were not that explicit to delineate clear differences and I
just wanted to highlight the current early boot restriction of


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