Re: [PATCH] x86/mm: Do not split_large_page() for set_kernel_text_rw()

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Mon Aug 26 2019 - 05:23:16 EST

On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 04:40:23AM +0000, Song Liu wrote:
> Cc: Steven Rostedt and Suresh Siddha
> Hi Peter,
> > On Aug 23, 2019, at 2:36 AM, Peter Zijlstra <peterz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 10:23:35PM -0700, Song Liu wrote:
> >> As 4k pages check was removed from cpa [1], set_kernel_text_rw() leads to
> >> split_large_page() for all kernel text pages. This means a single kprobe
> >> will put all kernel text in 4k pages:
> >>
> >> root@ ~# grep ffff81000000- /sys/kernel/debug/page_tables/kernel
> >> 0xffffffff81000000-0xffffffff82400000 20M ro PSE x pmd
> >>
> >> root@ ~# echo ONE_KPROBE >> /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/kprobe_events
> >> root@ ~# echo 1 > /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/events/kprobes/enable
> >>
> >> root@ ~# grep ffff81000000- /sys/kernel/debug/page_tables/kernel
> >> 0xffffffff81000000-0xffffffff82400000 20M ro x pte
> >>
> >> To fix this issue, introduce CPA_FLIP_TEXT_RW to bypass "Text RO" check
> >> in static_protections().
> >>
> >> Two helper functions set_text_rw() and set_text_ro() are added to flip
> >> _PAGE_RW bit for kernel text.
> >>
> >> [1] commit 585948f4f695 ("x86/mm/cpa: Avoid the 4k pages check completely")
> >
> > ARGH; so this is because ftrace flips the whole kernel range to RW and
> > back for giggles? I'm thinking _that_ is a bug, it's a clear W^X
> > violation.
> Thanks for your comments. Yes, it is related to ftrace, as we have
> CONFIG_KPROBES_ON_FTRACE. However, after digging around, I am not sure
> what is the expected behavior.

It changed recently; that is we got a lot more strict wrt W^X mappings.
IIRC ftrace is the only known violator of W^X at this time.

> Kernel text region has two mappings to it. For x86_64 and four-level
> page table, there are:
> 1. kernel identity mapping, from 0xffff888000100000;
> 2. kernel text mapping, from 0xffffffff81000000,

Right; AFAICT this is so that kernel text fits in s32 immediates.

> Per comments in arch/x86/mm/init_64.c:set_kernel_text_rw():
> /*
> * Make the kernel identity mapping for text RW. Kernel text
> * mapping will always be RO. Refer to the comment in
> * static_protections() in pageattr.c
> */
> set_memory_rw(start, (end - start) >> PAGE_SHIFT);

So only the high mapping is ever executable; the identity map should not
be. Both should be RO.

> kprobe (with CONFIG_KPROBES_ON_FTRACE) should work on kernel identity
> mapping.

Please provide more information; kprobes shouldn't be touching either
mapping. That is, afaict kprobes uses text_poke() which uses a temporary
mapping (in 'userspace' even) to alias the high text mapping.

I'm also not sure how it would then result in any 4k text maps. Yes the
alias is 4k, but it should not affect the actual high text map in any

kprobes also allocates executable slots, but it does that in the module
range (afaict), so that, again, should not affect the high text mapping.

> We found with 5.2 kernel (no CONFIG_PAGE_TABLE_ISOLATION, w/
> CONFIG_KPROBES_ON_FTRACE), a single kprobe will split _all_ PMDs in
> kernel text mapping into pte-mapped pages. This increases iTLB
> miss rate from about 300 per million instructions to about 700 per
> million instructions (for the application I test with).
> Per bisect, we found this behavior happens after commit 585948f4f695
> ("x86/mm/cpa: Avoid the 4k pages check completely"). That's why I
> proposed this PATCH to fix/workaround this issue. However, per
> Peter's comment and my study of the code, this doesn't seem the
> real problem or the only here.
> I also tested that the PMD split issue doesn't happen w/o

Right, because then ftrace doesn't flip the whole kernel map writable;
which it _really_ should stop doing anyway.

But I'm still wondering what causes that first 4k split...