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Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 11:30:13 -0700
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Christophe Leroy <>
Cc: Russell Currey <>,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v5 0/5] Implement STRICT_MODULE_RWX for powerpc

On Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 09:58:19AM +0100, Christophe Leroy wrote:
> Le 30/10/2019 à 08:31, Russell Currey a écrit :
> > v4 cover letter:
> > v3 cover letter:
> > 
> > Changes since v4:
> > 	[1/5]: Addressed review comments from Michael Ellerman (thanks!)
> > 	[4/5]: make ARCH_HAS_STRICT_MODULE_RWX depend on
> > 	       ARCH_HAS_STRICT_KERNEL_RWX to simplify things and avoid
> > 	       STRICT_MODULE_RWX being *on by default* in cases where
> > 	       STRICT_KERNEL_RWX is *unavailable*
> > 	[5/5]: split skiroot_defconfig changes out into its own patch
> > 
> > The whole Kconfig situation is really weird and confusing, I believe the
> > correct resolution is to change arch/Kconfig but the consequences are so
> > minor that I don't think it's worth it, especially given that I expect
> > powerpc to have mandatory strict RWX Soon(tm).
> I'm not such strict RWX can be made mandatory due to the impact it has on
> some subarches:
> - On the 8xx, unless all areas are 8Mbytes aligned, there is a significant
> overhead on TLB misses. And Aligning everthing to 8M is a waste of RAM which
> is not acceptable on systems having very few RAM.
> - On hash book3s32, we are able to map the kernel BATs. With a few alignment
> constraints, we are able to provide STRICT_KERNEL_RWX. But we are unable to
> provide exec protection on page granularity. Only on 256Mbytes segments. So
> for modules, we have to have the vmspace X. It is also not possible to have
> a kernel area RO. Only user areas can be made RO.

As I understand it, the idea was for it to be mandatory (or at least
default-on) only for the subarches where it wasn't totally insane to
accomplish. :) (I'm not familiar with all the details on the subarchs,
but it sounded like the more modern systems would be the targets for

Kees Cook

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