Re: [PATCH v3 00/10] Add Intel VT-d nested translation

From: Alex Williamson
Date: Thu May 25 2023 - 14:09:26 EST

On Wed, 24 May 2023 08:59:43 +0000
"Tian, Kevin" <kevin.tian@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> > From: Liu, Yi L <yi.l.liu@xxxxxxxxx>
> > Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2023 10:51 PM
> >
> > The first Intel platform supporting nested translation is Sapphire
> > Rapids which, unfortunately, has a hardware errata [2] requiring special
> > treatment. This errata happens when a stage-1 page table page (either
> > level) is located in a stage-2 read-only region. In that case the IOMMU
> > hardware may ignore the stage-2 RO permission and still set the A/D bit
> > in stage-1 page table entries during page table walking.
> >
> > A flag IOMMU_HW_INFO_VTD_ERRATA_772415_SPR17 is introduced to
> > report
> > this errata to userspace. With that restriction the user should either
> > disable nested translation to favor RO stage-2 mappings or ensure no
> > RO stage-2 mapping to enable nested translation.
> >
> > Intel-iommu driver is armed with necessary checks to prevent such mix
> > in patch10 of this series.
> >
> > Qemu currently does add RO mappings though. The vfio agent in Qemu
> > simply maps all valid regions in the GPA address space which certainly
> > includes RO regions e.g. vbios.
> >
> > In reality we don't know a usage relying on DMA reads from the BIOS
> > region. Hence finding a way to allow user opt-out RO mappings in
> > Qemu might be an acceptable tradeoff. But how to achieve it cleanly
> > needs more discussion in Qemu community. For now we just hacked Qemu
> > to test.
> >
> Hi, Alex,
> Want to touch base on your thoughts about this errata before we
> actually go to discuss how to handle it in Qemu.
> Overall it affects all Sapphire Rapids platforms. Fully disabling nested
> translation in the kernel just for this rare vulnerability sounds an overkill.
> So we decide to enforce the exclusive check (RO in stage-2 vs. nesting)
> in the kernel and expose the restriction to userspace so the VMM can
> choose which one to enable based on its own requirement.
> At least this looks a reasonable tradeoff to some proprietary VMMs
> which never adds RO mappings in stage-2 today.
> But we do want to get Qemu support nested translation on those
> platform as the widely-used reference VMM!
> Do you see any major oversight before pursuing such change in Qemu
> e.g. having a way for the user to opt-out adding RO mappings in stage-2? 😊

I don't feel like I have enough info to know what common scenarios are
going to make use of 2-stage and nested configurations and how likely a
user is to need such an opt-out. If it's likely that a user is going
to encounter this configuration, an opt-out is at best a workaround.
It's a significant support issue if a user needs to generate a failure
in QEMU, notice and decipher any log messages that failure may have
generated, and take action to introduce specific changes in their VM
configuration to support a usage restriction.

For QEMU I might lean more towards an effort to better filter the
mappings we create to avoid these read-only ranges that likely don't
require DMA mappings anyway.

How much does this affect arbitrary userspace vfio drivers? For
example are there scenarios where running in a VM with a vIOMMU
introduces nested support that's unknown to the user which now prevents
this usage? An example might be running an L2 guest with a version of
QEMU that does create read-only mappings. If necessary, how would lack
of read-only mapping support be conveyed to those nested use cases?