Re: [PATCH v2 10/39] x86/mm: Introduce _PAGE_COW

From: Edgecombe, Rick P
Date: Wed Oct 05 2022 - 19:01:53 EST

On Wed, 2022-10-05 at 02:17 +0000, Andrew Cooper wrote:
> (flags & PSE|RW|D) == PSE|D;
> R/O+D can exist higher in the paging structures and does not convey
> type=shstk-ness to later stages of the walk.

Hmm, yes. I guess it would be more correct to check if it's a leaf as

> However, there is a further complication which is bound rear its head
> sooner or later, and warrants discussing.
> type=shstk isn't actually only R/O+D on the leaf PTE; its also R/W on
> the accumulated access rights on non-leaf PTEs.
> Specifically, if you clear the RW bit on any higher level in the
> pagetable, then everything mapped by that PTE ceases to be of type
> shstk, even if the leaf has the R/O+D bit combination.
> This is allegedly a feature for the database folks, where they can
> create R/O and R/W aliases of the same memory, sharing intermediate
> pagetables, where the R/W alias will set D bits per usual and the R/O
> alias needs not to transmogrify itself into a shadow stack.

Thanks, I somehow missed this corner of the architecture. It looks like
this is not an issue for Linux at the moment because non-leaf PTEs
should have Write=1. I guess we need to keep this in mind if we ever
have Write=0 upper level PTEs though. Maybe a comment around
_PAGE_TABLE would be useful.