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Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2020 16:02:30 -0500
From: Segher Boessenkool <>
To: Nicholas Piggin <>
Subject: Re: Linux powerpc new system call instruction and ABI


On Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 06:12:01PM +1000, Nicholas Piggin wrote:
> Calling convention
> ------------------
> The proposal is for scv 0 to provide the standard Linux system call ABI 
> with the following differences from sc convention[1]:
> - lr is to be volatile across scv calls. This is necessary because the 
>   scv instruction clobbers lr. From previous discussion, this should be 
>   possible to deal with in GCC clobbers and CFI.
> - cr1 and cr5-cr7 are volatile. This matches the C ABI and would allow the
>   kernel system call exit to avoid restoring the volatile cr registers
>   (although we probably still would anyway to avoid information leaks).
> - Error handling: The consensus among kernel, glibc, and musl is to move to
>   using negative return values in r3 rather than CR0[SO]=1 to indicate error,
>   which matches most other architectures, and is closer to a function call.

What about cr0 then?  Will it be volatile as well (exactly like for
function calls)?

> Notes
> -----
> - r0,r4-r8 are documented as volatile in the ABI, but the kernel patch as
>   submitted currently preserves them. This is to leave room for deciding
>   which way to go with these.

The kernel has to set it to *something* that doesn't leak information ;-)


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