[RFC PATCH] virtio_ring: Use DMA API if guest memory is encrypted

Michael S. Tsirkin mst at redhat.com
Tue Jul 2 00:17:11 AEST 2019

On Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 10:58:40PM -0300, Thiago Jung Bauermann wrote:
> Michael S. Tsirkin <mst at redhat.com> writes:
> > On Mon, Jun 03, 2019 at 10:13:59PM -0300, Thiago Jung Bauermann wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> Michael S. Tsirkin <mst at redhat.com> writes:
> >>
> >> > On Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 06:42:00PM -0300, Thiago Jung Bauermann wrote:
> >> >> I rephrased it in terms of address translation. What do you think of
> >> >> this version? The flag name is slightly different too:
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM_NO_TRANSLATION This feature has the same
> >> >>     meaning as VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM both when set and when not set,
> >> >>     with the exception that address translation is guaranteed to be
> >> >>     unnecessary when accessing memory addresses supplied to the device
> >> >>     by the driver. Which is to say, the device will always use physical
> >> >>     addresses matching addresses used by the driver (typically meaning
> >> >>     physical addresses used by the CPU) and not translated further. This
> >> >>     flag should be set by the guest if offered, but to allow for
> >> >>     backward-compatibility device implementations allow for it to be
> >> >>     left unset by the guest. It is an error to set both this flag and
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > OK so VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM is designed to allow unpriveledged
> >> > drivers. This is why devices fail when it's not negotiated.
> >>
> >> Just to clarify, what do you mean by unprivileged drivers? Is it drivers
> >> implemented in guest userspace such as with VFIO? Or unprivileged in
> >> some other sense such as needing to use bounce buffers for some reason?
> >
> > I had drivers in guest userspace in mind.
> Great. Thanks for clarifying.
> I don't think this flag would work for guest userspace drivers. Should I
> add a note about that in the flag definition?

I think you need to clarify access protection rules. Is it only
translation that is bypassed or is any platform-specific
protection mechanism bypassed too?

> >> > This confuses me.
> >> > If driver is unpriveledged then what happens with this flag?
> >> > It can supply any address it wants. Will that corrupt kernel
> >> > memory?
> >>
> >> Not needing address translation doesn't necessarily mean that there's no
> >> IOMMU. On powerpc we don't use VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM but there's
> >> always an IOMMU present. And we also support VFIO drivers. The VFIO API
> >> for pseries (sPAPR section in Documentation/vfio.txt) has extra ioctls
> >> to program the IOMMU.
> >>
> >> For our use case, we don't need address translation because we set up an
> >> identity mapping in the IOMMU so that the device can use guest physical
> >> addresses.

OK so I think I am beginning to see it in a different light.  Right now the specific
platform creates an identity mapping. That in turn means DMA API can be
fast - it does not need to do anything.  What you are looking for is a
way to tell host it's an identity mapping - just as an optimization.

Is that right?  So this is what I would call this option:


and the explanation should state that all device
addresses are translated by the platform to identical

In fact this option then becomes more, not less restrictive
than VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM - it's a promise
by guest to only create identity mappings,
and only before driver_ok is set.
This option then would always be negotiated together with

Host then must verify that
1. full 1:1 mappings are created before driver_ok
    or can we make sure this happens before features_ok?
    that would be ideal as we could require that features_ok fails
2. mappings are not modified between driver_ok and reset
    i guess attempts to change them will fail -
    possibly by causing a guest crash
    or some other kind of platform-specific error

So far so good, but now a question:

how are we handling guest address width limitations?
guest address width limitations?
I am guessing we can make them so ...
This needs to be documented.

> >
> > And can it access any guest physical address?
> Sorry, I was mistaken. We do support VFIO in guests but not for virtio
> devices, only for regular PCI devices. In which case they will use
> address translation.

Not sure how this answers the question.

> >> If the guest kernel is concerned that an unprivileged driver could
> >> jeopardize its integrity it should not negotiate this feature flag.
> >
> > Unfortunately flag negotiation is done through config space
> > and so can be overwritten by the driver.
> Ok, so the guest kernel has to forbid VFIO access on devices where this
> flag is advertised.

That's possible in theory but in practice we did not yet teach VFIO not
to attach to legacy devices without VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM.  So all
security relies on host denying driver_ok without
VIRTIO_F_ACCESS_PLATFORM.  New options that bypass guest security are
thus tricky as they can create security holes for existing guests.
I'm open to ideas about how to do this in a safe way,

> >> Perhaps there should be a note about this in the flag definition? This
> >> concern is platform-dependant though. I don't believe it's an issue in
> >> pseries.
> >
> > Again ACCESS_PLATFORM has a pretty open definition. It does actually
> > say it's all up to the platform.
> >
> > implemented portably? virtio has no portable way to know
> > whether DMA API bypasses translation.
> communicates that knowledge to virtio. There is a shared understanding
> between the guest and the host about what this flag being set means.

Right but I wonder how are you going to *actually* implement it on Linux?
Are you adding a new set of DMA APIs that do everything except

> --
> Thiago Jung Bauermann
> IBM Linux Technology Center

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