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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v3 1/3] IOMMU: add VTD_CAP_CM to vIOMMU capabili

From: Alex Williamson
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v3 1/3] IOMMU: add VTD_CAP_CM to vIOMMU capability exposed to guest
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 11:02:11 -0600

On Mon, 6 Jun 2016 21:43:17 +0800
Peter Xu <address@hidden> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 06, 2016 at 07:11:41AM -0600, Alex Williamson wrote:
> > On Mon, 6 Jun 2016 13:04:07 +0800
> > Peter Xu <address@hidden> wrote:  
> [...]
> > > Besides the reason that there might have guests that do not support
> > > CM=1, will there be performance considerations? When user's
> > > configuration does not require CM capability (e.g., generic VM
> > > configuration, without VFIO), shall we allow user to disable the CM
> > > bit so that we can have better IOMMU performance (avoid extra and
> > > useless invalidations)?  
> > 
> > With Alexey's proposed patch to have callback ops when the iommu
> > notifier list adds its first entry and removes its last, any of the
> > additional overhead to generate notifies when nobody is listening can
> > be avoided.  These same callbacks would be the ones that need to
> > generate a hw_error if a notifier is added while running in CM=0.  
> Not familar with Alexey's patch


>, but is that for VFIO only?

vfio is currently the only user of the iommu notifier, but the
interface is generic, which is how it should (must) be.

> I mean, if
> we configured CMbit=1, guest kernel will send invalidation request
> every time it creates new entries (context entries, or iotlb
> entries). Even without VFIO notifiers, guest need to trap into QEMU
> and process the invalidation requests. This is avoidable if we are not
> using VFIO devices at all (so no need to maintain any mappings),
> right?

CM=1 only defines that not-present and invalid entries can be cached,
any changes to existing entries requires an invalidation regardless of
CM.  What you're looking for sounds more like ECAP.C:

C: Page-walk Coherency
  This field indicates if hardware access to the root, context,
  extended-context and interrupt-remap tables, and second-level paging
  structures for requests-without PASID, are coherent (snooped) or not.
    • 0: Indicates hardware accesses to remapping structures are non-coherent.
    • 1: Indicates hardware accesses to remapping structures are coherent.

Without both CM=0 and C=0, our only virtualization mechanism for
maintaining a hardware cache coherent with the guest view of the iommu
would be to shadow all of the VT-d structures.  For purely emulated
devices, maybe we can get away with that, but I doubt the current
ghashes used for the iotlb are prepared for it.

> If we allow user to specify cmbit={0|1}, user can decide whether
> he/she would like to take this benefit.

So long as the *default* gives us the ability to support an external
hardware cache, like vfio, and we generate a hw_error or equivalent to
avoid unsafe combinations, you're free to enable whatever other
shortcuts you want.  Thanks,


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