[PATCH 2/2] x86/cpu: Handle GUEST_MAXPHYADDR < HOST_MAXPHYADDR for hosts that don't support it

Gerd Hoffmann kraxel at redhat.com
Thu Jul 9 09:44:15 UTC 2020


> > (CCing libvir-list, and people who were included in the OVMF
> > thread[1])
> > 
> > [1] https://lore.kernel.org/qemu-devel/99779e9c-f05f-501b-b4be-ff719f140a88@canonical.com/

> > Also, it's important that we work with libvirt and management
> > software to ensure they have appropriate APIs to choose what to
> > do when a cluster has hosts with different MAXPHYADDR.
> There's been so many complex discussions that it is hard to have any
> understanding of what we should be doing going forward. There's enough
> problems wrt phys bits, that I think we would benefit from a doc that
> outlines the big picture expectation for how to handle this in the
> virt stack.

Well, the fundamental issue is not that hard actually.  We have three


    Everything is fine ;)


    Mostly fine.  Some edge cases, like different page fault errors for
    addresses above GUEST_MAXPHYADDR and below HOST_MAXPHYADDR.  Which I
    think Mohammed fixed in the kernel recently.


    Broken.  If the guest uses addresses above HOST_MAXPHYADDR everything
    goes south.

The (2) case isn't much of a problem.  We only need to figure whenever
we want qemu allow this unconditionally (current state) or only in case
the kernel fixes are present (state with this patch applied if I read it

The (3) case is the reason why guest firmware never ever uses
GUEST_MAXPHYADDR and goes with very conservative heuristics instead,
which in turn leads to the consequences discussed at length in the
OVMF thread linked above.

Ideally we would simply outlaw (3), but it's hard for backward
compatibility reasons.  Second best solution is a flag somewhere
(msr, cpuid, ...) telling the guest firmware "you can use

> As mentioned in the thread quoted above, using host_phys_bits is a
> obvious thing to do when the user requested "-cpu host".
> The harder issue is how to handle other CPU models. I had suggested
> we should try associating a phys bits value with them, which would
> probably involve creating Client/Server variants for all our CPU
> models which don't currently have it. I still think that's worth
> exploring as a strategy and with versioned CPU models we should
> be ok wrt back compatibility with that approach.

Yep, better defaults for GUEST_MAXPHYADDR would be good too, but that
is a separate (although related) discussion.

take care,

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