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Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2017 08:35:53 +0100
From: Ingo Molnar <>
To: Thomas Garnier <>
Cc: Andy Lutomirski <>,
	Arjan van de Ven <>,
	Thomas Gleixner <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>, "H . Peter Anvin" <>,
	Kees Cook <>, Borislav Petkov <>,
	Dave Hansen <>, Chen Yucong <>,
	Paul Gortmaker <>,
	Andrew Morton <>,
	Masahiro Yamada <>,
	Sebastian Andrzej Siewior <>,
	Anna-Maria Gleixner <>,
	Boris Ostrovsky <>,
	Rasmus Villemoes <>,
	Michael Ellerman <>,
	Juergen Gross <>,
	Richard Weinberger <>, X86 ML <>,
	"" <>,
	"" <>
Subject: Re: [RFC] x86/mm/KASLR: Remap GDTs at fixed location

* Thomas Garnier <> wrote:

> > No, and I had the way this worked on 64-bit wrong.  LTR requires an
> > available TSS and changes it to busy.  So here are my thoughts on how
> > this should work:
> >
> > Let's get rid of any connection between this code and KASLR.  Every
> > time KASLR makes something work differently, a kitten turns all
> > Schrödinger on us.  This is moving the GDT to the fixmap, plain and
> > simple.  For now, make it one page per CPU and don't worry about the
> > GDT limit.
> I am all for this change but that's more significant.
> Ingo: What do you think about that?

I agree with Andy: as I alluded to earlier as well this should be an unconditional 
change (tested properly, etc.) that robustifies the GDT mapping for everyone. That 
KASLR kernels improve too is a happy side effect!

> > On 32-bit, we're going to have to make the fixmap GDT be read-write because 
> > making it read-only will break double-fault handling.
> >
> > On 64-bit, we can use your trick of temporarily mapping the GDT read-write 
> > every time we load TR, which should happen very rarely. Alternatively, we can 
> > reload the *GDT* every time we reload TR, which should be comparably slow.  
> > This is going to regress performance in the extremely rare case where KVM 
> > exits to a process that uses ioperm() (I think), but I doubt anyone cares.  Or 
> > maybe we could arrange to never reload TR when GDT points at the fixmap by 
> > having KVM set the host GDT to the direct version and letting KVM's code to 
> > reload the GDT switch to the fixmap copy.

Please check whether the LTR write generates a page fault to a RO PTE even if the 
busy bit is already set. LTR is pretty slow which suggests that it's microcode, 
and microcode is usually not sloppy about such things: i.e. LTR would only 
generate an unconditional write if there's a compatibility dependency on it. But I 
could easily be wrong ...

> > If we need a quirk to keep the fixmap copy read-write, so be it.
> >
> > None of this should depend on KASLR.  IMO it should happen unconditionally.
> I looked back at the fixmap, and I can see a way it could be done
> (using NR_CPUS) like the other fixmap ranges. It would limit the
> number of cpus to 512 (there is 2M memory left on fixmap on the
> default configuration). That's if we never add any other fixmap on
> x64. I don't know if it is an acceptable number and if the fixmap
> region could be increased. (128 if we do your kvm trick, of course).
> Ingo: What do you think?

I think we should scale the fixmap size flexibly with NR_CPUs on 64-bit, and we 
should limit CPUs on 32-bit to a reasonable value.

I.e. let's just do it, if we run into problems it's all solvable AFAICS.



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