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Re: [PATCH v3] drivers/virt: vmgenid: add vm generation id driver

From: Eric W. Biederman
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3] drivers/virt: vmgenid: add vm generation id driver
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 2020 12:00:58 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

"Catangiu, Adrian Costin" <acatan@amazon.com> writes:

> - Background
> The VM Generation ID is a feature defined by Microsoft (paper:
> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=260709) and supported by
> multiple hypervisor vendors.
> The feature is required in virtualized environments by apps that work
> with local copies/caches of world-unique data such as random values,
> uuids, monotonically increasing counters, etc.
> Such apps can be negatively affected by VM snapshotting when the VM
> is either cloned or returned to an earlier point in time.

How does this differ from /proc/sys/kernel/random/boot_id?

> The VM Generation ID is a simple concept meant to alleviate the issue
> by providing a unique ID that changes each time the VM is restored
> from a snapshot. The hw provided UUID value can be used to
> differentiate between VMs or different generations of the same VM.

Does the VM generation ID change in a running that effectively things it
is running?

> - Problem
> The VM Generation ID is exposed through an ACPI device by multiple
> hypervisor vendors but neither the vendors or upstream Linux have no
> default driver for it leaving users to fend for themselves.
> Furthermore, simply finding out about a VM generation change is only
> the starting point of a process to renew internal states of possibly
> multiple applications across the system. This process could benefit
> from a driver that provides an interface through which orchestration
> can be easily done.
> - Solution
> This patch is a driver that exposes a monotonic incremental Virtual
> Machine Generation u32 counter via a char-dev FS interface.

Earlier it was a UUID now it is 32bit number?

> The FS
> interface provides sync and async VmGen counter updates notifications.
> It also provides VmGen counter retrieval and confirmation mechanisms.
> The generation counter and the interface through which it is exposed
> are available even when there is no acpi device present.
> When the device is present, the hw provided UUID is not exposed to
> userspace, it is internally used by the driver to keep accounting for
> the exposed VmGen counter. The counter starts from zero when the
> driver is initialized and monotonically increments every time the hw
> UUID changes (the VM generation changes).
> On each hw UUID change, the new hypervisor-provided UUID is also fed
> to the kernel RNG.

Should this be a hotplug even rather than a new character device?

Without plugging into udev and the rest of the hotplug infrastructure
I suspect things will be missed.

> If there is no acpi vmgenid device present, the generation changes are
> not driven by hw vmgenid events but can be driven by software through
> a dedicated driver ioctl.
> This patch builds on top of Or Idgar <oridgar@gmail.com>'s proposal
> https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/3/1/498


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