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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v4 0/8] KASLR kernel dump support

From: Marc-André Lureau
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v4 0/8] KASLR kernel dump support
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2017 00:31:36 +0200


On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 12:23 AM, Michael S. Tsirkin <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 10:21:43PM +0200, Laszlo Ersek wrote:
>> On 07/14/17 21:59, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
>> > On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 08:20:03PM +0200, Marc-André Lureau wrote:
>> >> Recent linux kernels enable KASLR to randomize phys/virt memory
>> >> addresses. This series aims to provide enough information in qemu
>> >> dumps so that crash utility can work with randomized kernel too (it
>> >> hasn't been tested on other archs than x86 though, help welcome).
>> >>
>> >> The vmcoreinfo device is an emulated ACPI device that exposes a 4k
>> >> memory range to the guest to store various informations useful to
>> >> debug the guest OS. (it is greatly inspired by the VMGENID device
>> >> implementation). The version field with value 0 is meant to give
>> >> paddr/size of the VMCOREINFO ELF PT_NOTE, other values can be used for
>> >> different purposes or OSes. (note: some wanted to see pvpanic somehow
>> >> merged with this device, I have no clear idea how to do that, nor do I
>> >> think this is a good idea since the devices are quite different, used
>> >> at different time for different purposes. And it can be done as a
>> >> future iteration if it is appropriate, feel free to send patches)
>> >
>> > First, I think you underestimate the difficulty of maintaining
>> > compatibility.
>> >
>> > Second, this seems racy - how do you know when is guest done writing out
>> > the data?
>> What data exactly?
>> The guest kernel module points the fields in the "vmcoreinfo page" to
>> the then-existent vmcoreinfo ELF note. At that point, the ELF note is
>> complete.
> When does this happen?

Very early boot afaik. But the exact details on when to expose it is
left to the kernel side. For now, it's a test module I load manually.

>> If we catch the guest with a dump request while the kernel module is
>> setting up the fields (i.e., the fields are not consistent), then we'll
>> catch that in our sanity checks, and the note won't be extracted.
> Are there assumptions about e.g. in which order pa and size
> are written out then? Atomicity of these writes?

I expect it to be atomic, but as Laszlo said, the code should be quite
careful when trying to read the data.

>> This
>> is no different from the case when you simply dump the guest RAM before
>> the module got invoked.
>> > Given you have very little data to export (PA, size - do
>> > you even need size?)
>> Yes, it tells us in advance how much memory to allocate before we copy
>> out the vmcoreinfo ELF note (and we enforce a sanity limit on the size).
>> > - how about just using an ACPI method do it,
>> Do what exactly?
> Pass address + size to host - that's what the interface is doing,
> isn't it?

The memory region is meant to be usable for other OS, or to export
more details in the future. I think if we add a method, it would be to
tell qemu that the memory has been written, but it may still be
corrupted at the time we read it. So I am not sure it will really help

>> > instead of exporting a physical addess and storing address there.  This
>> > way you can add more methods as you add functionality.
>> I'm not saying this is a bad idea (especially because I don't fully
>> understand your point), but I will say that I'm quite sad that you are
>> sending Marc-André back to the drawing board after he posted v4 -- also
>> invalidating my review efforts. :/
>> Laszlo
> You are right, I should have looked at this sooner. Early RFC
> suggested writing into fw cfg directly. I couldn't find any
> discussion around this - why was this abandoned?

Violation (or rather abuse) of layers iirc

Marc-André Lureau

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