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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH 00/22] Vixen: A PV-in-HVM shim

On Mon, Jan 08, 2018 at 11:54:57AM +0000, Wei Liu wrote:
> Hi Anthony
> On Sat, Jan 06, 2018 at 02:54:15PM -0800, Anthony Liguori wrote:
> > From: Anthony Liguori <aliguori@xxxxxxxxxx>
> > 
> > CVE-2017-5754 is problematic for paravirtualized x86 domUs because it
> > appears to be very difficult to isolate the hypervisor's page tables
> > from PV domUs while maintaining ABI compatibility.  Instead of trying
> > to make a KPTI-like approach work for Xen PV, it seems reasonable to
> > run a copy of Xen within an HVM (or PVH) domU to provide backwards
> > compatibility with guests as mentioned in XSA-254 [1].
> > 
> > This patch series adds a new mode to Xen called Vixen (Virtualized
> > Xen) which provides a PV-compatible interface while gaining
> > CVE-2017-5754 protection for the host provided by hardware
> > virtualization.  Vixen supports running a single unprivileged PV
> > domain (a dom1) that is constructed by the dom0 domain builder.
> > 
> > Please note the Xen page table configuration fundamental to the
> > current PV ABI makes it impossible for an operating system to mitigate
> > CVE-2017-5754 through mechanisms like Kernel Page Table Isolation
> > (KPTI).  In order for an operating system to mitigate CVE-2017-5754 it
> > must run directly in a HVM or PVH domU.
> > 
> > This series is very similar to the PVH series posted by Wei and we
> > have been discussing how to merge efforts.  We were hoping to have
> > more time to work this out.  I am posting this because I'm fairly
> > confident that this series is complete (all PV instances in EC2 are
> > using this) and others might find it useful.  I also wanted to have
> > more of a discussion about the best way to merge and some of the
> > differences in designs.
> > 
> > This series is also available at:
> > 
> >  git clone https://github.com/aliguori/xen.git vixen-upstream-v1
> I do want to make the shim be able to run in both pvh and hvm mode
> (which doesn't seem to be too hard in practice).

AFAIK the pv-shim code will already work in HVM mode. It's just that
booting the pv-shim in HVM mode requires that you install the shim
inside of the guest and then boot it using grub or a similar loader
that can do multiboot.


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