Re: USB mass storage and ARM cache coherency

From: James Bottomley
Date: Wed Mar 03 2010 - 05:24:55 EST

On Wed, 2010-03-03 at 09:36 +0000, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:10:09AM +0530, James Bottomley wrote:
> > On Wed, 2010-03-03 at 16:10 +1100, Benjamin Herrenschmidt wrote:
> > > On Wed, 2010-03-03 at 12:47 +0900, FUJITA Tomonori wrote:
> > > > The ways to improve the approach (introducing PG_arch_2 or marking a
> > > > page clean on dma_unmap_* with DMA_FROM_DEVICE like ia64 does) is up
> > > > to architectures.
> > >
> > > How does the above work ? IE, the dma unmap will flush the D side but
> > > not the I side ... or is the ia64 flush primitive magic enough to do
> > > both ?
> >
> > The point is that in a well regulated system, the I cache shouldn't need
> > extra flushing in the kernel. We should only be faulting in R-X pages.
> James, that's a pipedream. If you have a processor which doesn't support
> NX, then the kernel marks all regions executable, even if the app only
> asks for RW protection.

I'm not talking about what the processor supports ... I'm talking about
what the user sets on the VMA. My point is that the kernel only has
responsibility in specific situations ... it's those paths we do the I/D
coherency on.

> You end up with the protection masks always having VM_EXEC set in them,
> so there's no way to distinguish from the kernel POV which pages are
> going to be executed and those which aren't.

I think you're talking about the pte page flags, I'm talking about the
VMA ones above.

> And if you can't do that, you have to _always_ flush the I cache for
> every page fault, because you don't know if the I cache is out of sync
> with the page that you've just read in from disk - and therefore you
> may end up executing bad code instead of the glibc text that was
> intended.

If you're doing a not present, fault in a VMA executable region, I
agree ... since that's the start of the lifecycle where we have to begin
with I/D coherent.

> So here's the question: in a system where the responsibility for I-cache
> flushing is in userspace, how do you ensure that you can execute code
> in userspace to do this I-cache flushing without first having flushed
> the (speculatively prefetching) I-cache?

I'm not saying the common path (faulting in text sections) is the
responsibility of user space. I'm saying the uncommon path, write
modification of binaries, is. So the kernel only needs to worry about
the ordinary text fault path.


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