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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v9 06/11] x86/entry: Organise the use of MSR_SPEC_CTRL at each entry/exit point

On 19/01/18 13:51, Jan Beulich wrote:
>>>> On 19.01.18 at 14:36, <andrew.cooper3@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On 19/01/18 11:43, Jan Beulich wrote:
>>>>>> On 18.01.18 at 16:46, <andrew.cooper3@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> @@ -729,6 +760,9 @@ ENTRY(nmi)
>>>>  handle_ist_exception:
>>>>          SAVE_ALL CLAC
>>>> +        SPEC_CTRL_ENTRY_FROM_INTR /* Req: %rsp=regs, Clob: acd */
>>>> +        /* WARNING! `ret`, `call *`, `jmp *` not safe before this point. 
>>>> */
>>> Following my considerations towards alternative patching to
>>> eliminate as much overhead as possible from the Meltdown
>>> band-aid in case it is being disabled, I'm rather hesitant to see any
>>> patchable code being introduced into the NMI/#MC entry paths
>>> without the patching logic first being made safe in this regard.
>>> Exceptions coming here aren't very frequent (except perhaps on
>>> hardware about to die), so the path isn't performance critical.
>>> Therefore I think we should try to avoid any patching here, and
>>> just conditionals instead. This in fact is one of the reasons why I
>>> didn't want to macro-ize the assembly additions done in the
>>> Meltdown band-aid.
>>> I do realize that this then also affects the exit-to-Xen path,
>>> which I agree is less desirable to use conditionals on.
>> While I agree that our lack of IST-safe patching is a problem, these
>> alternative points are already present on the NMI and MCE paths, and
>> need to be.  As a result, the DF handler is in no worse of a position. 
>> As a perfect example, observe the CLAC in context.
> Oh, indeed. We should change that.
>> I could perhaps be talked into making a SPEC_CTRL_ENTRY_FROM_IST variant
>> which doesn't use alternatives (but IMO this is pointless in the
>> presence of CLAC), but still don't think it is reasonable to treat DF
>> differently to NMI/MCE.
> #DF is debatable: On one hand I can see that if things go wrong,
> it can equally be raised at any time. Otoh #MC and even more so
> NMI can be raised _without_ things going (fatally) wrong, i.e. the
> patching may break a boot which would otherwise have succeeded
> (whereas the #DF would make the boot fail anyway).

I don't see a conclusion here, or a reason for treating #DF differently
to NMI or #MC.

There is currently a very very slim race on boot where an NMI or #MC
hitting the main application of alternatives may cause Xen to explode. 
This has been the case since alternatives were introduced, and this
patch doesn't make the problem meaningfully worse.


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