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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v2 4/5] fw_cfg: prohibit insertion of duplicate

From: Gabriel L. Somlo
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v2 4/5] fw_cfg: prohibit insertion of duplicate fw_cfg file names
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:34:21 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 07:51:06AM +0100, Laszlo Ersek wrote:
> Here's an idea I had this morning.
> This series gives equal rank to fw_cfg file names that originate
> internally and those that come from the user, via the command line.
> That means that whenever qemu developers want to introduce a new fw_cfg
> file, they can never be sure that the new name will not conflict with
> something a user has already been passing in via the command line, for
> whatever purposes. (Because, well, that's the goal of this patchset, to
> empower the user to pass in fw_cfg files independently of qemu developers.)
> This looks brittle. How about:
> (a) advising users in the docs txt *and in the manual* to use some kind
> of fw_cfg file name prefix, like "usr/" or "opt/", and then steering
> clear of such prefixes in qemu, as far as developers are concerned. Or,
> (b) automatically prepending "opt/" or "usr/" to all fw_cfg file names
> that come via -fw_cfg (equiv. via [fw_cfg] in the config file), and, for
> developers, steering clear of those prefixes in qemu's source.
> The C standard and the POSIX standard define lists of identifier
> prefixes (well, patterns) that are reserved for various uses. If a
> program violates that, it might not compile on some platform, or with
> the next release of the compiler on the same platform etc. I think we
> should posit something like this.
> Personally I vote (a). Document it, but don't enforce it.
> (Assuming that a user-specified fw_cfg file gains traction, and becomes
> popular to the point that qemu wants to expose it itself, then qemu can
> just generate the same file with (eg.) an "etc/" prefix. And then
> firmware (or other guest code) can start looking for the file under both
> prefixes, and give priority to... well, that's another policy question;
> but we're talking mechanism thus far. :))
> Thoughts about (a) vs. (b) vs. neither?

You're basically saying it'd be nice to keep user-provided commandline
blobs in a separate *namespace* from those inserted programmatically
by QEMU, and I definitely agree!

My inner control freak's gut reaction is to vote (b), but I'm sure
theres lots of facets of the issue I haven't considered, so I could
easily be talked out of that selection :)

Either way, this would go in with patch 5/5 (where the command line
option is being added), so everything up to that point (including
generating an error on dupe fwcfg file names) should probably stay
the way it is...

Thanks much,

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