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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v9 15/15] microcode: block #NMI handling when loading an ucode

On 27.08.2019 06:52, Chao Gao wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 04:07:59PM +0800, Chao Gao wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 09:46:37AM +0100, Sergey Dyasli wrote:
>>> On 19/08/2019 02:25, Chao Gao wrote:
>>>> register an nmi callback. And this callback does busy-loop on threads
>>>> which are waiting for loading completion. Control threads send NMI to
>>>> slave threads to prevent NMI acceptance during ucode loading.
>>>> Signed-off-by: Chao Gao <chao.gao@xxxxxxxxx>
>>>> ---
>>>> Changes in v9:
>>>>  - control threads send NMI to all other threads. Slave threads will
>>>>  stay in the NMI handling to prevent NMI acceptance during ucode
>>>>  loading. Note that self-nmi is invalid according to SDM.
>>> To me this looks like a half-measure: why keep only slave threads in
>>> the NMI handler, when master threads can update the microcode from
>>> inside the NMI handler as well?
>> No special reason. Because the issue we want to address is that slave
>> threads might go to handle NMI and access MSRs when master thread is
>> loading ucode. So we only keep slave threads in the NMI handler.
>>> You mention that self-nmi is invalid, but Xen has self_nmi() which is
>>> used for apply_alternatives() during boot, so can be trusted to work.
>> Sorry, I meant using self shorthand to send self-nmi. I tried to use
>> self shorthand but got APIC error. And I agree that it is better to
>> make slave thread call self_nmi() itself.
>>> I experimented a bit with the following approach: after loading_state
>>> becomes LOADING_CALLIN, each cpu issues a self_nmi() and rendezvous
>>> via cpu_callin_map into LOADING_ENTER to do a ucode update directly in
>>> the NMI handler. And it seems to work.
>>> Separate question is about the safety of this approach: can we be sure
>>> that a ucode update would not reset the status of the NMI latch? I.e.
>>> can it cause another NMI to be delivered while Xen already handles one?
>> Ashok, what's your opinion on Sergey's approach and his concern?
> I talked with Ashok. We think your approach is better. I will follow
> your approach in v10. It would be much helpful if you post your patch
> so that I can just rebase it onto other patches.

Doing the actual ucode update inside an NMI handler seems rather risky
to me. Even if Ashok confirmed it would not be an issue on past and
current Intel CPUs - what about future ones, or ones from other vendors?


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