[RFC PATCH 02/10] KVM: PPC: BOOK3S: PR: Emulate virtual timebase register

Paul Mackerras paulus at samba.org
Thu Jan 30 16:49:13 EST 2014

On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 10:14:07PM +0530, Aneesh Kumar K.V wrote:
> virtual time base register is a per vm register and need to saved
> and restored on vm exit and entry. Writing to VTB is not allowed
> in the privileged mode.

> +#ifdef CONFIG_PPC_BOOK3S_64
> +#define mfvtb()		({unsigned long rval;				\
> +			asm volatile("mfspr %0, %1" :			\
> +				     "=r" (rval) : "i" (SPRN_VTB)); rval;})

The mfspr will be a no-op on anything before POWER8, meaning the
result will be whatever value was in the destination GPR before the
mfspr.  I suppose that may not matter if the result is only ever used
when we're running on a POWER8 host, but I would feel more comfortable
if we had explicit feature tests to make sure of that, rather than
possibly doing computations with unpredictable values.

With your patch, a guest on a POWER7 or a PPC970 could do a read from
VTB and get garbage -- first, there is nothing to stop userspace from
requesting POWER8 emulation on an older machine, and secondly, even if
the virtual machine is a PPC970 (say) you don't implement
unimplemented SPR semantics for VTB (no-op if PR=0, illegal
instruction interrupt if PR=1).

On the whole I think it is reasonable to reject an attempt to set the
virtual PVR to a POWER8 PVR value if we are not running on a POWER8
host, because emulating all the new POWER8 features in software
(particularly transactional memory) would not be feasible.  Alex may
disagree. :)


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