Re: [RFC PATCH] x86/speculation: Don't inherit TIF_SSBD on execve()

From: Andi Kleen
Date: Wed Dec 19 2018 - 14:38:25 EST

On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 02:09:50PM -0500, Waiman Long wrote:
> the TIF_SSBD bit will be inherited when a new task is fork'ed or cloned.
> As only certain class of applications (like Java) requires disabling
> speculative store bypass for security purpose, it may not make sense to
> allow the TIF_SSBD bit to be inherited across execve() boundary where the
> new application may not need SSBD at all and is probably not aware that
> SSBD may have been turned on. This may cause an unnecessary performance
> loss of up to 20% in some cases.
> The arch_setup_new_exec() function is updated to clear the TIF_SSBD
> bit unless it has been force-disabled.

This makes it impossible to write a wrapper that turns this mode
on for unmodified programs.

Do you have a real use case where this behavior is a problem?