[PATCH kernel 14/15] vfio/spapr_tce: Export container API for external users

Paul Mackerras paulus at ozlabs.org
Mon Aug 15 13:59:47 AEST 2016

On Tue, Aug 09, 2016 at 06:16:30AM -0600, Alex Williamson wrote:
> On Tue, 9 Aug 2016 15:19:39 +1000
> Alexey Kardashevskiy <aik at ozlabs.ru> wrote:
> > On 09/08/16 02:43, Alex Williamson wrote:
> > > 
> > > I think you need to take a closer look of the lifecycle of a container,
> > > having a reference means the container itself won't go away, but only
> > > having a group set within that container holds the actual IOMMU
> > > references.  container->iommu_data is going to be NULL once the
> > > groups are lost.  Thanks,  
> > 
> > 
> > Container owns the iommu tables and this is what I care about here, groups
> > attached or not - this is handled separately via IOMMU group list in a
> > specific iommu_table struct, these groups get detached from iommu_table
> > when they are removed from a container.
> The container doesn't own anything, the container is privileged by the
> groups being attached to it.  When groups are closed, they detach from
> the container and once the container group list is empty the iommu
> backend is released and iommu_data is NULL.  A container reference
> doesn't give you what you're looking for.  It implies nothing about the
> iommu backend.

Alex, I'd like to understand more what the objection is here - is it
just about the object lifetimes, or is it a more fundamental objection
to the style of interface?

Regarding lifetimes, my understanding was that Alexey's previous
patches added refcounting to the iommu tables, so that KVM could get a
reference to the iommu tables through the container and then safely
use the iommu tables directly.  There may still be a potential race in
the interval between asking the container about its iommu tables and
incrementing the tables' reference counts, but that should be able to
be solved.  I don't see any unsolvable problem regarding lifetimes.

Or is your objection about any external access to the container?
As far as I know, when a group is not part of a container it has its
own iommu tables, but when it is put in a container it loses its own
iommu tables and instead uses a common pair of iommu tables (one for
the 32-bit window, one for the 64-bit window) that belong to the
container.  So we do in fact need the container's iommu tables not the
individual groups' tables.


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