[libvirt] pci-stub error and MSI-X for KVM guest

Chris Wright chrisw at sous-sol.org
Fri Jan 8 00:50:03 UTC 2010

* Fischer, Anna (anna.fischer at hp.com) wrote:
> So, when setting a breakpoint for the exit() call I'm getting a bit closer to figuring where it kills my guest.

Thanks, this helps clarify what is happening.

> Breakpoint 1, exit (status=1) at exit.c:99
> 99	{
> Current language:  auto
> The current source language is "auto; currently c".
> (gdb) bt
> #0  exit (status=1) at exit.c:99
> #1  0x0000000000470c6e in assigned_dev_pci_read_config (d=0x259c6f0, address=64, len=4)

assigned_dev_pci_read_config(..., 64, 4)
This is a libvirt issue.  When you use virt-manager it has libvirtd
fork/exec qemu-kvm.  libvirtd will drop privileges and run qemu-kvm as
user qemu (or perhaps root if you've edited qemu.conf).  Regardless of
the user, it clears capabilities.  Reading PCI config space beyond just
the header requires CAP_SYS_ADMIN.  The above is reading the first 4
bytes of device dependent config space, and the kernel is returning 0
because qemu doesn't have CAP_SYS_ADMIN.

Basically, this means that device assignment w/ libvirt will break
MSI/MSI-X because qemu will never be able to see that the host device
has those PCI capabilities.  This, in turn, renders VF device assignment
useless (since a VF is required to support MSI and/or MSI-X).

Granting CAP_SYS_ADMIN for each qemu instance that does device assignment
would render the privilege reduction useless (CAP_SYS_ADMIN is the
kitchen sink catchall of the Linux capability system).


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