Re: [GIT PULL] (swiotlb) stable/for-linus-5.15

From: Robin Murphy
Date: Fri Sep 03 2021 - 09:51:48 EST

On 2021-09-03 01:42, Linus Torvalds wrote:
On Thu, Sep 2, 2021 at 2:55 PM Robin Murphy <robin.murphy@xxxxxxx> wrote:

Not to defend the state things have got into - frankly I've found it
increasingly hard to follow for some time now too - but I believe the
unwritten story is of the one true dma-direct trying to be all things to
all users, and there are several aspects at play here which are mutually
exclusive in practice.


Some of that "mutual exclusion" seems to be encoded in peoples heads,
not in the code itself.

The global pool is essentially for noMMU, so should not be expected to
overlap with SWIOTLB at all, much less systems using restricted DMA.

If I read that right, you're saying that in this case, the possible
mis-merge doesn't matter?

Yes, as things currently stand, DMA_GLOBAL_POOL is only enabled by Arm noMMU and Hexagon, neither of which enable SWIOTLB.

Btw, what's the actual logic with the


tests anyway? Those are pre-existing, but seem odd and senseless. The
function is called "dma_alloc_from_global_coherent()", but it is *not*
called when "dev_is_dma_coherent()".

Heh, good terminology for this is hard to find. One way to make sense of
it is to consider that either the device itself is coherent - i.e. can
snoop caches such that we don't have to much in the way of special
treatment - or otherwise it's the memory which has to be made coherent,
i.e. remapped non-cacheable, such that CPUs and non-snooping devices can
still maintain a consistent view of it (note: I'm focusing on caches
here for simplicity, but in practice there's other stuff like memory
encryption in the mix too). Hence a "coherent pool" is actually a pool
of non-cacheably-mapped memory from which to allocate for
non-hardware-coherent devices

Ok. Reading that code as an innocent (well, somewhat!) outsider sure
makes that confusing, though.

That code needs to be split up, and the logic needs to be made
understandable. Preferably *obvious*. Which it isn't now.

I suppose one logical option would be to split out dedicated versions of
dma-direct for at least the major differences - noMMU,
CONFIG_DMA_DIRECT_REMAP, etc. - but that does run the risk of ending up
as a lot of very similar looking code and being a rich source of bugs
where things get added/fixed in one place but not the others.

I would hope that all the actual *code* is in these helper functions
that do not have the "in this situation, do X" AT ALL.

That does actually seem to be what the intent of some of those
functions are - so there are functions like that
"dma_direct_alloc_from_pool()", which does one thing and one thing
only, and doesn't have any odd conditionals.

And then dma_direct_alloc() _kind_ of tries to be the wrapper function
that dispatches to the different versions. I think.

Except the dispatch logic ends up being all those different cases that
have nothing to do with each other, because people have very clearly
tried to avoid code duplication by just saying "ok, in these two
entirely unrelated situations, we do the same thing".

Indeed, although one could argue "entirely unrelated" - the fact that they end up wanting the same handling *makes* them related by purpose. By way of analogy, when I go to the supermarket I'll usually find the tomatoes closer to other salad vegetables than to the potatoes ;)

So instead of having a

if (case_X) do_Y();

kind of logic, it ends up doing

if (case_X && !case_Y) do_A();

even if case_X and case_Y don't seem to really be related in any real way.

And any time somebody comes up with a new case, it gets added to the pile.

Which doesn't help readability.

Yup, however the inherently overlapping nature of some of the things involved means that flipping things around arguably just brings a *different* set of readability/maintainability issues:

if (X) //do A
else if (Y) //do A and C
else if (Z) //do B and C

Basically if you consolidate the conditions then you're doomed to duplicate non-trivial amounts of the actual handling. In fact now that I'm looking closely I'm wondering why we already have the set_memory_decrypted() stanza in there twice, and starting to second-guess myself as to whether there might be some really subtle significance to it that I can't see :/

It doesn't really help when the code also has comments like

/* we always manually zero the memory once we are done */

that aren't actually true at all - the "always" here is about that one
single case, and the comment comes from the fact that in *that* case -
but not other cases - we're now masking off the __GFP_ZERO from the
gfp flags, and then zeroing manually at the end.

Hmm, I guess I'd read "always" in the middle of a function as inherently only qualifying execution which actually reaches that point in the function, but either way it's indeed a long way from "We mask out __GFP_ZERO here because if we're remapping then we need to memset() through the new address anyway, so it's simplest if we do that unconditionally and skip any other possibly-redundant zeroing."

I had to go back into the history of where that comment came from to
really make sense of it. The "always" used to be true within the
context of __dma_direct_alloc_pages(), then it got moved to be one
sub-case in dma_direct_alloc() and now it's really more of a "in this
case" than "always", because other cases depend on the zeroing being
done by the other helper cases.

It's certainly possible that the code makes more sense to somebody who
has stared at that more than I have.

In the immediate short term, please

(a) explain what the rules actually are

I hope some of the background above has helped a bit.

Well, I'd really like a very explicit "the is_swiotlb_for_alloc()
situation cannot happen for that global pool case because XYZ, so the
condition in that conflict doesn't matter".

That's what I _think_ you implied at the top. But it wasn't very
explicit. You say "essentially noMMU, so it should be expected to

"essentially"? "shouldn't be expected"? I'm not getting a lot of warm
and fuzzies from that. I'd like to have something a bit more concrete.

As above, upstream Kconfigs do prevent any possible overlap at the moment (with "swiotlb: use depends on for DMA_RESTRICTED_POOL" fixing the bug which inadvertently made SWIOTLB user-selectable). I was a bit handwavy since I'm familiar with the global pool as used by Arm noMMU, but I'm not entirely sure what Hexagon's deal is (it looks like it does have an MMU, yet still doesn't do remapping) so I didn't want to speak in absolutes which might prove to be inaccurate. I also can't unequivocally rule out someone coming along in future with some wacky use-case for enabling both configs at once (TBH I can imagine some of the protected VM schemes maybe going in that direction), but that couldn't happen without further patches anyway.


Then I can do that merge that I think looks nonsensical, but in the hope that

(a) it works correctly and does what people expect


(b) that hopefully somebody will look at that logic and make it
actually make sense.

which would just make me feel a lot better about things.