Re: [PATCH v4 1/2] Avoid using EFI tables Xen may have clobbered

From: Demi Marie Obenour
Date: Tue Oct 04 2022 - 13:46:24 EST

On Tue, Oct 04, 2022 at 10:22:13AM +0200, Jan Beulich wrote:
> On 01.10.2022 02:30, Demi Marie Obenour wrote:
> > On Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 08:27:09PM +0200, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> >> On Fri, 30 Sept 2022 at 19:12, Demi Marie Obenour wrote:
> >>> On Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 06:30:57PM +0200, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> >>>> I know very little about Xen, but based on the context you provided in
> >>>> this thread, I'd say that the best approach from the Xen side is to
> >>>> convert all EfiBootServicesData regions that have configuration tables
> >>>> pointing into them into EfiAcpiReclaimMemory.
> >>>
> >>> Should Xen convert the entire region, or should it try to reserve only
> >>> the memory it needs? The latter would require it to parse the
> >>> configuration tables. Is there a list of configuration tables that can
> >>> legitimately be in EfiBootServicesData regions?
> >>>
> >>
> >> Not really, no. So you would have to convert the entire region
> >> /unless/ Xen knows the GUID, and therefore knows how to derive the
> >> size of the table, allowing it to reserve memory more conservatively.
> >> However, I doubt whether this is worth it: splitting entries implies
> >> rewriting the memory map, which is a thing I'd rather avoid if I were
> >> in your shoes.
> >
> > I actually wonder if Xen needs to reserve *all* of EfiBootServicesData.
> > The reason is that some (probably buggy) firmware may store ACPI tables
> > there, and Xen does not have an ACPI implementation.
> We already have the -mapbs option as a workaround in such situations.

The problem is that there is no way for the user to know when it is
needed. One option would be for dom0 to print a warning in the kernel
log if it needs to ignore a table due to it being in EfiBootServicesData.

> > From my
> > perspective, a much safer approach would be to pass all of
> > EfiBootServicesData memory directly to dom0, and have dom0 give Xen back
> > what it doesn’t wind up using. That allows dom0’s memory reservation
> > code to work properly, which it currently does not.
> As said already on a different thread: Giving memory to domains (incl
> Dom0) isn't related to their original memory type (neither EFI's nor
> E820's); the needed memory is taken from the general page allocator
> (with one exception for initrd, to avoid unnecessary copying around of
> data). Hence what you propose would end up as an (imo) awful hack in
> Xen. I also don't see how this relates to "dom0’s memory reservation
> code", but I'm sure you can clarify that for me.

Linux has a function called efi_mem_reserve() that is used to reserve
EfiBootServicesData memory that contains e.g. EFI configuration tables.
This function does not work under Xen because Xen could have already
clobbered the memory. efi_mem_reserve() not working is the whole reason
for this thread, as it prevents EFI tables that are in
EfiBootServicesData from being used under Xen.

A much nicer approach would be for Xen to reserve boot services memory
unconditionally, but provide a hypercall that dom0 could used to free
the parts of EfiBootServicesData memory that are no longer needed. This
would allow efi_mem_reserve() to work normally.
Demi Marie Obenour (she/her/hers)
Invisible Things Lab

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