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Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:22:44 +0100
From: Helge Deller <>
To: Kees Cook <>, Pavel Machek <>
Cc: Laura Abbott <>, Mark Rutland <>,
 "" <>,
 Catalin Marinas <>,
 Heiko Carstens <>,
 "James E.J. Bottomley" <>,
 "H. Peter Anvin" <>,
 "" <>,
 Rob Herring <>, Jessica Yu <>,
 Jonathan Corbet <>, "" <>,
 Russell King <>, Ingo Molnar <>,
 Len Brown <>,
 "" <>,
 Will Deacon <>, Thomas Gleixner <>,
 linux-parisc <>,
 Linux PM list <>,
 "Rafael J. Wysocki" <>, LKML
 <>, Jason Wessel <>,
 Martin Schwidefsky <>,
 Robin Murphy <>
Subject: Re: [PATCHv3 2/2] arch: Rename CONFIG_DEBUG_RODATA and

On 17.02.2017 02:08, Kees Cook wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 2:25 PM, Pavel Machek <> wrote:
>> Hi!
>>> -config DEBUG_RODATA
>>>       bool "Make kernel text and rodata read-only" if ARCH_OPTIONAL_KERNEL_RWX
>>>       depends on ARCH_HAS_STRICT_KERNEL_RWX
>>>       default !ARCH_OPTIONAL_KERNEL_RWX ||
>> Debug features are expected to have runtime cost, so kconfig help is
>> silent about those. But there are runtime costs, right? It would be
>> nice to mention them in the help text...
> It depends on the architecture. The prior help text for arm said:
>          The tradeoff is that each region is padded to section-size (1MiB)
>          boundaries (because their permissions are different and splitting
>          the 1M pages into 4K ones causes TLB performance problems), which
>          can waste memory.
> parisc (somewhat inaccurately) said:
>          This option may have a slight performance impact because a
>          portion of the kernel code won't be covered by a TLB anymore.

The logic on parisc is actually:
If huge page support is enabled, we map 1MB pages (and behave like arm wrt alignments).
If huge page support is disabled we stay at 4k/PAGE_SIZE pages (without 1M alignment).
> IIUC, arm64 does what parisc is hinting at: mappings at the end are
> broken down to PAGE_SIZE. 

On parisc we never implemented that.

> On x86, IIUC, there's actually no change to
> TLB performance due to how the mappings are already set up.
> I'm not sure the best way to express this in the new help text. Do you
> have some suggestions on wording? Personally, I don't really think
> it's worth mentioning this in Kconfig help,

I agree on this.

> which, in theory, is
> supposed to limit how technical it gets. And I think the performance
> impact is almost entirely negligible compared to the risks addressed.


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