[PATCH RFC v2 00/13] IOMMUFD Generic interface

Steven Sistare steven.sistare at oracle.com
Thu Oct 6 22:57:36 UTC 2022

On 10/6/2022 12:01 PM, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 08:09:54PM -0300, Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 03:30:55PM -0400, Steven Sistare wrote:
>>>> If Steve wants to keep it then someone needs to fix the deadlock in
>>>> the vfio implementation before any userspace starts to appear. 
>>> The only VFIO_DMA_UNMAP_FLAG_VADDR issue I am aware of is broken pinned accounting
>>> across exec, which can result in mm->locked_vm becoming negative. I have several 
>>> fixes, but none result in limits being reached at exactly the same time as before --
>>> the same general issue being discussed for iommufd.  I am still thinking about it.
>> Oh, yeah, I noticed this was all busted up too.
>>> I am not aware of a deadlock problem.  Please elaborate or point me to an
>>> email thread.
>> VFIO_DMA_UNMAP_FLAG_VADDR open codes a lock in the kernel where
>> userspace can tigger the lock to be taken and then returns to
>> userspace with the lock held.
>> Any scenario where a kernel thread hits that open-coded lock and then
>> userspace does-the-wrong-thing will deadlock the kernel.
>> For instance consider a mdev driver. We assert
>> VFIO_DMA_UNMAP_FLAG_VADDR, the mdev driver does a DMA in a workqueue
>> and becomes blocked on the now locked lock. Userspace then tries to
>> close the device FD.
>> FD closure will trigger device close and the VFIO core code
>> requirement is that mdev driver device teardown must halt all
>> concurrent threads touching vfio_device. Thus the mdev will try to
>> fence its workqeue and then deadlock - unable to flush/cancel a work
>> that is currently blocked on a lock held by userspace that will never
>> be unlocked.
>> This is just the first scenario that comes to mind. The approach to
>> give userspace control of a lock that kernel threads can become
>> blocked on is so completely sketchy it is a complete no-go in my
>> opinion. If I had seen it when it was posted I would have hard NAK'd
>> it.
>> My "full" solution in mind for iommufd is to pin all the memory upon
>> VFIO_DMA_UNMAP_FLAG_VADDR, so we can continue satisfy DMA requests
>> while the mm_struct is not available. But IMHO this is basically
>> useless for any actual user of mdevs.
>> The other option is to just exclude mdevs and fail the
>> VFIO_DMA_UNMAP_FLAG_VADDR if any are present, then prevent them from
>> becoming present while it is asserted. In this way we don't need to do
>> anything beyond a simple check as the iommu_domain is already fully
>> populated and pinned.
> Do we have a solution to this?

Not yet, but I have not had time until now.  Let me try some things tomorrow 
and get back to you.  Thanks for thinking about it.

- Steve

> If not I would like to make a patch removing VFIO_DMA_UNMAP_FLAG_VADDR
> Aside from the approach to use the FD, another idea is to just use
> fork.
> qemu would do something like
>  .. stop all container ioctl activity ..
>  fork()
>     ioctl(CHANGE_MM) // switch all maps to this mm
>     .. signal parent.. 
>     .. wait parent..
>     exit(0)
>  .. wait child ..
>  exec()
>  ioctl(CHANGE_MM) // switch all maps to this mm
>  ..signal child..
>  waitpid(childpid)
> This way the kernel is never left without a page provider for the
> maps, the dummy mm_struct belonging to the fork will serve that role
> for the gap.
> And the above is only required if we have mdevs, so we could imagine
> userspace optimizing it away for, eg vfio-pci only cases.
> It is not as efficient as using a FD backing, but this is super easy
> to implement in the kernel.
> Jason

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