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

From: Huang, Kai
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v3 1/3] IOMMU: add VTD_CAP_CM to vIOMMU capability exposed to guest
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 10:39:19 +1200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.1.1

On 6/8/2016 6:46 AM, Alex Williamson wrote:
On Tue, 7 Jun 2016 17:21:06 +1200
"Huang, Kai" <address@hidden> wrote:

On 6/7/2016 3:58 PM, Alex Williamson wrote:
On Tue, 7 Jun 2016 11:20:32 +0800
Peter Xu <address@hidden> wrote:

On Mon, Jun 06, 2016 at 11:02:11AM -0600, Alex Williamson wrote:
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


Thanks for the pointer. :)

, 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),

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:

Yes, but I guess what I was talking about is CM bit but not ECAP.C.
When we clear/replace one context entry, guest kernel will definitely
send one context entry invalidation to QEMU:

static void domain_context_clear_one(struct intel_iommu *iommu, u8 bus, u8 
        if (!iommu)

        clear_context_table(iommu, bus, devfn);
        iommu->flush.flush_context(iommu, 0, 0, 0,
        iommu->flush.flush_iotlb(iommu, 0, 0, 0, DMA_TLB_GLOBAL_FLUSH);

... While if we are creating a new one (like attaching a new VFIO
device?), it's an optional behavior depending on whether CM bit is

static int domain_context_mapping_one(struct dmar_domain *domain,
                                      struct intel_iommu *iommu,
                                      u8 bus, u8 devfn)
         * It's a non-present to present mapping. If hardware doesn't cache
         * non-present entry we only need to flush the write-buffer. If the
         * _does_ cache non-present entries, then it does so in the special
         * domain #0, which we have to flush:
        if (cap_caching_mode(iommu->cap)) {
                iommu->flush.flush_context(iommu, 0,
                                           (((u16)bus) << 8) | devfn,
                iommu->flush.flush_iotlb(iommu, did, 0, 0, DMA_TLB_DSI_FLUSH);
        } else {

Only if cap_caching_mode() is set (which is bit 7, the CM bit), we
will send these invalidations. What I meant is that, we should allow
user to specify the CM bit, so that when we are not using VFIO
devices, we can skip the above flush_content() and flush_iotlb()
etc... So, besides the truth that we have some guests do not support
CM bit (like Jailhouse), performance might be another consideration
point that we should allow user to specify the CM bit themselfs.

I'm dubious of this, IOMMU drivers are already aware that hardware
flushes are expensive and do batching to optimize it.  The queued
invalidation mechanism itself is meant to allow asynchronous
invalidations.  QEMU invalidating a virtual IOMMU might very well be
faster than hardware.

Do batching doesn't mean we can eliminate the IOTLB flush for mappings
from non-present to present, in case of CM=1, while in case CM=0 those
IOTLB flush are not necessary, just like the code above shows. Therefore
generally speaking CM=0 should have better performance than CM=1, even
for Qemu's vIOMMU.

In my understanding the purpose of exposing CM=1 is to force guest do
IOTLB flush for each mapping change (including from non-present to
present) so Qemu is able to emulate each mapping change from guest
(correct me if I was wrong). If previous statement stands, CM=1 is
really a workaround for making vfio assigned devices and vIOMMU work
together, and unfortunately this cannot work on other vendor's IOMMU
without CM bit, such as AMD's IOMMU.

So what's the requirements of making vfio assigned devices and vIOMMU
work together? I think it should be more helpful to implement a more
generic solution to monitor and emulate guest vIOMMU's page table,
rather than simply exposing CM=1 to guest, as it only works on intel IOMMU.

And what do you mean asynchronous invalidations? I think the iova of the
changed mappings cannot be used until the mappings are invalidated. It
doesn't matter whether the invalidation is done via QI or register.

Ok, so you're arguing that CM=0 is more efficient than CM=1 because it
eliminates some portion of the invalidations necessary by the guest,
while at the same time arguing for a more general solution of shadow
page tables which would trap into the vIOMMU at every update,
eliminating all the batching done by the guest IOMMU driver code
attempting to reduce and consolidate the number of flushes done.  All
of this with only speculation on what might be more efficient.  Can we
get vIOMMU working, especially with assigned devices, before we
speculate further?

How do we expect a vIOMMU to be used in a guest?  In the case of
emulated devices, what value does it provide?  Are emulated devices
isolated from one another by the vIOMMU?  No.  Do we have 32-bit
emulated devices for which DMA translation at the vIOMMU is
significantly more efficient than bounce buffers within the guest?
Probably not, and if we did we could just emulate 64bit devices.  So I
assume that beyond being a development tool, our primary useful feature
of a vIOMMU is to expose devices to guest userspace (and thus nested
guests) via tools like vfio.  Am I wrong here?  In this use case, it's
most efficient to run with iommu=pt in the L1 guest, which would make
any sort of invalidations a very rare event.  Making use of vfio inside
the L1 guest would then move a device from the static-identity domain
in the L1 guest into a new domain where the mappings for that domain
are also relatively static.  So I really don't see why we're trying to
optimize the invalidation of the vIOMMU at this point.  I also have to
believe that the hardware folks that designed VT-d believed there to be
a performance advantage to using emulated VT-d with CM=1 versus
shadowing all of the VT-d data structures in the hypervisor or they
wouldn't have added this bit to the specification.  Thanks,
Hi Alex,

Sorry for jumping to this discussion suddenly. Yes I absolutely agree that getting vIOMMU working with assigned devices is more important thing than arguing on vIOMMU performance on CM bit. Actually I am very eager to make vIOMMU working with vfio for assigned device in guest as I want to try DPDK via VFIO in guest (this is the reason I searched vIOMMU support in Qemu and found this discussion). My concern for CM bit is not performance, but it is not generic way, but still it is better than nothing :)



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