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Re: [Xen-devel] [for-4.7] xen/arm: Force broadcast of TLB and instruction cache maintenance instructions

On Mon, 25 Apr 2016, Julien Grall wrote:
> (CC Steve and Andre)
> Hi Stefano,
> On 25/04/16 11:45, Stefano Stabellini wrote:
> > On Mon, 18 Apr 2016, Julien Grall wrote:
> > > UP guest usually uses TLB instruction to flush only on the local CPU. The
> > > TLB flush won't be broadcasted across all the CPUs within the same
> > > innershareable domain.
> > > 
> > > When the vCPU is migrated between different CPUs, it may be rescheduled
> > > to a previous CPU where the TLB has not been flushed. The TLB may
> > > contain stale entries which will result to translate incorrectly a VA to
> > > IPA or even cause TLB conflicts.
> > > 
> > > To avoid a such situation, always set HCR_EL2.FB which will force the
> > > broadcast of TLB and instruction cache maintenance instructions.
> > > Cheers,
> > > 
> > > Signed-off-by: Julien Grall <julien.grall@xxxxxxx>
> > 
> > Well spotted!
> > 
> > Julien, I was wondering whether we could avoid the HCR_FB by manually
> > doing a flush in ctxt_switch_from or context_switch. I am suggesting
> > this because I have the feeling that enabling HCR_FB would have a
> > negative performance impact.
> The performance impact will depend on how much the guest makes use of local
> flush instructions.
> When HCR.FB is set, the hardware will broadcast the flush (TLBs, instruction
> cache or branch predictor) to all the CPUs in the same innershareable domain.
> I.e any local flush instructions will be upgraded to innershareable.
> ARM64 Linux kernel is SMP-aware (no possibility to build only for UP), most of
> the flush instructions are innershareable. The local flushes are limited to
> boot (1 flush per CPU) and when the ASID of a task is changing. Therefore the
> impact of setting HCR.FB for ARM64 Linux guest would be very limited.
> ARM32 Linux kernel can be built SMP-aware or only UP-aware. The former, will
> make a very limited use of those instructions. The latter will obviously use
> only local flush instructions. Therefore, there will be an impact to set
> HCR.FB for UP-aware kernel guest.
> I have looked quickly at FreeBSD (both ARM64 and ARM32). SMP-aware kernel will
> mostly make use of innershareable flush instructions. UP-aware kernel will
> only make use of local flush instructions.
> However, nothing prevent an SMP-aware kernel to make more often use of local
> flush instructions.
> In the case that HCR.FB is not set, Xen would need to:
> * Flush all the TLBs for the VMID associated to this domain
> * Invalidate all the entries from branch predictors (on for AArch32)
> * Invalidate all the entries from the instruction cache
> Whilst you suggested to do it at every domain context switch, this is only
> necessary when the vCPU migrates between 2 physical CPUs.
> In any case, not setting HCR.FB will have a big impact on any SMP-aware
> Linux/Freebsd kernel as any context switch (or migration) will nuke the TLBs,
> the instruction cache and the branch predictor.

That would be extremely bad. I think we should be able to perform the
tlb flushing only for domains that have only 1 vcpus, which should limit
the negative effects of the change.

> The impact of HCR.FB on UP-aware kernel would need to be benchmarked.
> But to be honest, I expect most of the kernels, which run in a guest, to be
> SMP-aware.
> So setting HCR.FB seems to be the best solution. We can revisit it later, if
> we notice negative performance impact.

I agree that setting HCR.FB is an very simple solution to the problem.
It has hard to argue against that :-)  It would be nice at some point to
write a prototype of the tlb flushing at vcpu migration and give it a try.

For now could you please summarize your thoughts on this in the commit
message so that a couple of years down the line we can still find them?

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