Re: [RFC 0/4] Virtio uses DMA API for all devices

From: Michael S. Tsirkin
Date: Wed Aug 01 2018 - 18:41:28 EST

On Wed, Aug 01, 2018 at 10:05:35AM +0100, Will Deacon wrote:
> Hi Christoph,
> On Wed, Aug 01, 2018 at 01:36:39AM -0700, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > On Wed, Aug 01, 2018 at 09:16:38AM +0100, Will Deacon wrote:
> > > On arm/arm64, the problem we have is that legacy virtio devices on the MMIO
> > > transport (so definitely not PCI) have historically been advertised by qemu
> > > as not being cache coherent, but because the virtio core has bypassed DMA
> > > ops then everything has happened to work. If we blindly enable the arch DMA
> > > ops,
> >
> > No one is suggesting that as far as I can tell.
> Apologies: it's me that wants the DMA ops enabled to handle legacy devices
> behind an IOMMU, but see below.
> > > we'll plumb in the non-coherent ops and start getting data corruption,
> > > so we do need a way to quirk virtio as being "always coherent" if we want to
> > > use the DMA ops (which we do, because our emulation platforms have an IOMMU
> > > for all virtio devices).
> >
> > From all that I've gather so far: no you do not want that. We really
> > need to figure out virtio "dma" interacts with the host / device.
> >
> > If you look at the current iommu spec it does talk of physical address
> > with a little careveout for VIRTIO_F_IOMMU_PLATFORM.
> That's true, although that doesn't exist in the legacy virtio spec, and we
> have an existing emulation platform which puts legacy virtio devices behind
> an IOMMU. Currently, Linux is unable to boot on this platform unless the
> IOMMU is configured as bypass. If we can use the coherent IOMMU DMA ops,
> then it works perfectly.
> > So between that and our discussion in this thread and its previous
> > iterations I think we need to stick to the current always physical,
> > bypass system dma ops mode of virtio operation as the default.
> As above -- that means we hang during boot because we get stuck trying to
> bring up a virtio-block device whose DMA is aborted by the IOMMU. The easy
> answer is "just upgrade to latest virtio and advertise the presence of the
> IOMMU". I'm pushing for that in future platforms, but it seems a shame not
> to support the current platform, especially given that other systems do have
> hacks in mainline to get virtio working.
> > We just need to figure out how to deal with devices that deviate
> > from the default. One things is that VIRTIO_F_IOMMU_PLATFORM really
> > should become VIRTIO_F_PLATFORM_DMA to cover the cases of non-iommu
> > dma tweaks (offsets, cache flushing), which seems well in spirit of
> > the original design. The other issue is VIRTIO_F_IO_BARRIER
> > which is very vaguely defined, and which needs a better definition.
> > And last but not least we'll need some text explaining the challenges
> > of hardware devices - I think VIRTIO_F_PLATFORM_DMA + VIRTIO_F_IO_BARRIER
> > is what would basically cover them, but a good description including
> > an explanation of why these matter.
> I agree that this makes sense for future revisions of virtio (or perhaps
> it can just be a clarification to virtio 1.0), but we're still left in the
> dark with legacy devices and it would be nice to have them work on the
> systems which currently exist, even if it's a legacy-only hack in the arch
> code.
> Will

Myself I'm sympathetic to this use-case and I see more uses to this
than just legacy support. But more work is required IMHO.
Will post tomorrow though - it's late here ...