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[PATCH v17 01/20] multi-process: add the concept description to docs/dev
[PATCH v17 01/20] multi-process: add the concept description to docs/devel/qemu-multiprocess
Wed, 13 Jan 2021 11:42:13 -0500
From: John G Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Signed-off-by: John G Johnson <email@example.com>
Signed-off-by: Elena Ufimtseva <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Signed-off-by: Jagannathan Raman <email@example.com>
Reviewed-by: Stefan Hajnoczi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
docs/devel/index.rst | 1 +
docs/devel/multi-process.rst | 966 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MAINTAINERS | 7 +
3 files changed, 974 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 docs/devel/multi-process.rst
diff --git a/docs/devel/index.rst b/docs/devel/index.rst
index ea0e1e1..5ccaf8b 100644
@@ -36,3 +36,4 @@ Contents:
diff --git a/docs/devel/multi-process.rst b/docs/devel/multi-process.rst
new file mode 100644
@@ -0,0 +1,966 @@
+This is the design document for multi-process QEMU. It does not
+necessarily reflect the status of the current implementation, which
+may lack features or be considerably different from what is described
+in this document. This document is still useful as a description of
+the goals and general direction of this feature.
+Please refer to the following wiki for latest details:
+QEMU is often used as the hypervisor for virtual machines running in the
+Oracle cloud. Since one of the advantages of cloud computing is the
+ability to run many VMs from different tenants in the same cloud
+infrastructure, a guest that compromised its hypervisor could
+potentially use the hypervisor's access privileges to access data it is
+not authorized for.
+QEMU can be susceptible to security attacks because it is a large,
+monolithic program that provides many features to the VMs it services.
+Many of these features can be configured out of QEMU, but even a reduced
+configuration QEMU has a large amount of code a guest can potentially
+attack. Separating QEMU reduces the attack surface by aiding to
+limit each component in the system to only access the resources that
+it needs to perform its job.
+QEMU can be broadly described as providing three main services. One is a
+VM control point, where VMs can be created, migrated, re-configured, and
+destroyed. A second is to emulate the CPU instructions within the VM,
+often accelerated by HW virtualization features such as Intel's VT
+extensions. Finally, it provides IO services to the VM by emulating HW
+IO devices, such as disk and network devices.
+A multi-process QEMU
+A multi-process QEMU involves separating QEMU services into separate
+host processes. Each of these processes can be given only the privileges
+it needs to provide its service, e.g., a disk service could be given
+access only to the disk images it provides, and not be allowed to
+access other files, or any network devices. An attacker who compromised
+this service would not be able to use this exploit to access files or
+devices beyond what the disk service was given access to.
+A QEMU control process would remain, but in multi-process mode, will
+have no direct interfaces to the VM. During VM execution, it would still
+provide the user interface to hot-plug devices or live migrate the VM.
+A first step in creating a multi-process QEMU is to separate IO services
+from the main QEMU program, which would continue to provide CPU
+emulation. i.e., the control process would also be the CPU emulation
+process. In a later phase, CPU emulation could be separated from the
+Separating IO services
+Separating IO services into individual host processes is a good place to
+begin for a couple of reasons. One is the sheer number of IO devices QEMU
+can emulate provides a large surface of interfaces which could potentially
+be exploited, and, indeed, have been a source of exploits in the past.
+Another is the modular nature of QEMU device emulation code provides
+interface points where the QEMU functions that perform device emulation
+can be separated from the QEMU functions that manage the emulation of
+guest CPU instructions. The devices emulated in the separate process are
+referred to as remote devices.
+QEMU device emulation
+QEMU uses an object oriented SW architecture for device emulation code.
+Configured objects are all compiled into the QEMU binary, then objects
+are instantiated by name when used by the guest VM. For example, the
+code to emulate a device named "foo" is always present in QEMU, but its
+instantiation code is only run when the device is included in the target
+VM. (e.g., via the QEMU command line as *-device foo*)
+The object model is hierarchical, so device emulation code names its
+parent object (such as "pci-device" for a PCI device) and QEMU will
+instantiate a parent object before calling the device's instantiation
+Current separation models
+In order to separate the device emulation code from the CPU emulation
+code, the device object code must run in a different process. There are
+a couple of existing QEMU features that can run emulation code
+separately from the main QEMU process. These are examined below.
+vhost user model
+Virtio guest device drivers can be connected to vhost user applications
+in order to perform their IO operations. This model uses special virtio
+device drivers in the guest and vhost user device objects in QEMU, but
+once the QEMU vhost user code has configured the vhost user application,
+mission-mode IO is performed by the application. The vhost user
+application is a daemon process that can be contacted via a known UNIX
+As mentioned above, one of the tasks of the vhost device object within
+QEMU is to contact the vhost application and send it configuration
+information about this device instance. As part of the configuration
+process, the application can also be sent other file descriptors over
+the socket, which then can be used by the vhost user application in
+various ways, some of which are described below.
+vhost MMIO store acceleration
+VMs are often run using HW virtualization features via the KVM kernel
+driver. This driver allows QEMU to accelerate the emulation of guest CPU
+instructions by running the guest in a virtual HW mode. When the guest
+executes instructions that cannot be executed by virtual HW mode,
+execution returns to the KVM driver so it can inform QEMU to emulate the
+instructions in SW.
+One of the events that can cause a return to QEMU is when a guest device
+driver accesses an IO location. QEMU then dispatches the memory
+operation to the corresponding QEMU device object. In the case of a
+vhost user device, the memory operation would need to be sent over a
+socket to the vhost application. This path is accelerated by the QEMU
+virtio code by setting up an eventfd file descriptor that the vhost
+application can directly receive MMIO store notifications from the KVM
+driver, instead of needing them to be sent to the QEMU process first.
+vhost interrupt acceleration
+Another optimization used by the vhost application is the ability to
+directly inject interrupts into the VM via the KVM driver, again,
+bypassing the need to send the interrupt back to the QEMU process first.
+The QEMU virtio setup code configures the KVM driver with an eventfd
+that triggers the device interrupt in the guest when the eventfd is
+written. This irqfd file descriptor is then passed to the vhost user
+vhost access to guest memory
+The vhost application is also allowed to directly access guest memory,
+instead of needing to send the data as messages to QEMU. This is also
+done with file descriptors sent to the vhost user application by QEMU.
+These descriptors can be passed to ``mmap()`` by the vhost application
+to map the guest address space into the vhost application.
+IOMMUs introduce another level of complexity, since the address given to
+the guest virtio device to DMA to or from is not a guest physical
+address. This case is handled by having vhost code within QEMU register
+as a listener for IOMMU mapping changes. The vhost application maintains
+a cache of IOMMMU translations: sending translation requests back to
+QEMU on cache misses, and in turn receiving flush requests from QEMU
+when mappings are purged.
+applicability to device separation
+Much of the vhost model can be re-used by separated device emulation. In
+particular, the ideas of using a socket between QEMU and the device
+emulation application, using a file descriptor to inject interrupts into
+the VM via KVM, and allowing the application to ``mmap()`` the guest
+should be re used.
+There are, however, some notable differences between how a vhost
+application works and the needs of separated device emulation. The most
+basic is that vhost uses custom virtio device drivers which always
+trigger IO with MMIO stores. A separated device emulation model must
+work with existing IO device models and guest device drivers. MMIO loads
+break vhost store acceleration since they are synchronous - guest
+progress cannot continue until the load has been emulated. By contrast,
+stores are asynchronous, the guest can continue after the store event
+has been sent to the vhost application.
+Another difference is that in the vhost user model, a single daemon can
+support multiple QEMU instances. This is contrary to the security regime
+desired, in which the emulation application should only be allowed to
+access the files or devices the VM it's running on behalf of can access.
+#### qemu-io model
+Qemu-io is a test harness used to test changes to the QEMU block backend
+object code. (e.g., the code that implements disk images for disk driver
+emulation) Qemu-io is not a device emulation application per se, but it
+does compile the QEMU block objects into a separate binary from the main
+QEMU one. This could be useful for disk device emulation, since its
+emulation applications will need to include the QEMU block objects.
+New separation model based on proxy objects
+A different model based on proxy objects in the QEMU program
+communicating with remote emulation programs could provide separation
+while minimizing the changes needed to the device emulation code. The
+rest of this section is a discussion of how a proxy object model would
+Remote emulation processes
+The remote emulation process will run the QEMU object hierarchy without
+modification. The device emulation objects will be also be based on the
+QEMU code, because for anything but the simplest device, it would not be
+a tractable to re-implement both the object model and the many device
+backends that QEMU has.
+The processes will communicate with the QEMU process over UNIX domain
+sockets. The processes can be executed either as standalone processes,
+or be executed by QEMU. In both cases, the host backends the emulation
+processes will provide are specified on its command line, as they would
+be for QEMU. For example:
+ disk-proc -blockdev driver=file,node-name=file0,filename=disk-file0 \
+ -blockdev driver=qcow2,node-name=drive0,file=file0
+would indicate process *disk-proc* uses a qcow2 emulated disk named
+*file0* as its backend.
+Emulation processes may emulate more than one guest controller. A common
+configuration might be to put all controllers of the same device class
+(e.g., disk, network, etc.) in a single process, so that all backends of
+the same type can be managed by a single QMP monitor.
+communication with QEMU
+The first argument to the remote emulation process will be a Unix domain
+socket that connects with the Proxy object. This is a required argument.
+ disk-proc <socket number> <backend list>
+remote process QMP monitor
+Remote emulation processes can be monitored via QMP, similar to QEMU
+itself. The QMP monitor socket is specified the same as for a QEMU
+ disk-proc -qmp unix:/tmp/disk-mon,server
+can be monitored over the UNIX socket path */tmp/disk-mon*.
+QEMU command line
+Each remote device emulated in a remote process on the host is
+represented as a *-device* of type *pci-proxy-dev*. A socket
+sub-option to this option specifies the Unix socket that connects
+to the remote process. An *id* sub-option is required, and it should
+be the same id as used in the remote process.
+ qemu-system-x86_64 ... -device pci-proxy-dev,id=lsi0,socket=3
+can be used to add a device emulated in a remote process
+QEMU management of remote processes
+QEMU is not aware of the type of type of the remote PCI device. It is
+a pass through device as far as QEMU is concerned.
+communication with emulation process
+The primary channel (referred to as com in the code) is used to bootstrap
+the remote process. It is also used to pass on device-agnostic commands
+Each remote device communicates with QEMU using a dedicated communication
+channel. The proxy object sets up this channel using the primary
+channel during its initialization.
+QEMU device proxy objects
+QEMU has an object model based on sub-classes inherited from the
+"object" super-class. The sub-classes that are of interest here are the
+"device" and "bus" sub-classes whose child sub-classes make up the
+device tree of a QEMU emulated system.
+The proxy object model will use device proxy objects to replace the
+device emulation code within the QEMU process. These objects will live
+in the same place in the object and bus hierarchies as the objects they
+replace. i.e., the proxy object for an LSI SCSI controller will be a
+sub-class of the "pci-device" class, and will have the same PCI bus
+parent and the same SCSI bus child objects as the LSI controller object
+It is worth noting that the same proxy object is used to mediate with
+all types of remote PCI devices.
+The Proxy device objects are initialized in the exact same manner in
+which any other QEMU device would be initialized.
+In addition, the Proxy objects perform the following two tasks:
+- Parses the "socket" sub option and connects to the remote process
+using this channel
+- Uses the "id" sub-option to connect to the emulated device on the
+The ``class_init()`` method of a proxy object will, in general behave
+similarly to the object it replaces, including setting any static
+properties and methods needed by the proxy.
+instance\_init / realize
+The ``instance_init()`` and ``realize()`` functions would only need to
+perform tasks related to being a proxy, such are registering its own
+MMIO handlers, or creating a child bus that other proxy devices can be
+attached to later.
+Other tasks will be device-specific. For example, PCI device objects
+will initialize the PCI config space in order to make a valid PCI device
+tree within the QEMU process.
+address space registration
+Most devices are driven by guest device driver accesses to IO addresses
+or ports. The QEMU device emulation code uses QEMU's memory region
+function calls (such as ``memory_region_init_io()``) to add callback
+functions that QEMU will invoke when the guest accesses the device's
+areas of the IO address space. When a guest driver does access the
+device, the VM will exit HW virtualization mode and return to QEMU,
+which will then lookup and execute the corresponding callback function.
+A proxy object would need to mirror the memory region calls the actual
+device emulator would perform in its initialization code, but with its
+own callbacks. When invoked by QEMU as a result of a guest IO operation,
+they will forward the operation to the device emulation process.
+PCI config space
+PCI devices also have a configuration space that can be accessed by the
+guest driver. Guest accesses to this space is not handled by the device
+emulation object, but by its PCI parent object. Much of this space is
+read-only, but certain registers (especially BAR and MSI-related ones)
+need to be propagated to the emulation process.
+PCI parent proxy
+One way to propagate guest PCI config accesses is to create a
+"pci-device-proxy" class that can serve as the parent of a PCI device
+proxy object. This class's parent would be "pci-device" and it would
+override the PCI parent's ``config_read()`` and ``config_write()``
+methods with ones that forward these operations to the emulation
+A proxy for a device that generates interrupts will need to create a
+socket to receive interrupt indications from the emulation process. An
+incoming interrupt indication would then be sent up to its bus parent to
+be injected into the guest. For example, a PCI device object may use
+The proxy will register to save and restore any *vmstate* it needs over
+a live migration event. The device proxy does not need to manage the
+remote device's *vmstate*; that will be handled by the remote process
+proxy (see below).
+QEMU remote device operation
+Generic device operations, such as DMA, will be performed by the remote
+process proxy by sending messages to the remote process.
+DMA operations would be handled much like vhost applications do. One of
+the initial messages sent to the emulation process is a guest memory
+table. Each entry in this table consists of a file descriptor and size
+that the emulation process can ``mmap()`` to directly access guest
+memory, similar to ``vhost_user_set_mem_table()``. Note guest memory
+must be backed by file descriptors, such as when QEMU is given the
+*-mem-path* command line option.
+When the emulated system includes an IOMMU, the remote process proxy in
+QEMU will need to create a socket for IOMMU requests from the emulation
+process. It will handle those requests with an
+``address_space_get_iotlb_entry()`` call. In order to handle IOMMU
+unmaps, the remote process proxy will also register as a listener on the
+device's DMA address space. When an IOMMU memory region is created
+within the DMA address space, an IOMMU notifier for unmaps will be added
+to the memory region that will forward unmaps to the emulation process
+over the IOMMU socket.
+device hot-plug via QMP
+An QMP "device\_add" command can add a device emulated by a remote
+process. It will also have "rid" option to the command, just as the
+*-device* command line option does. The remote process may either be one
+started at QEMU startup, or be one added by the "add-process" QMP
+command described above. In either case, the remote process proxy will
+forward the new device's JSON description to the corresponding emulation
+The remote process proxy will also register for live migration
+notifications with ``vmstate_register()``. When called to save state,
+the proxy will send the remote process a secondary socket file
+descriptor to save the remote process's device *vmstate* over. The
+incoming byte stream length and data will be saved as the proxy's
+*vmstate*. When the proxy is resumed on its new host, this *vmstate*
+will be extracted, and a secondary socket file descriptor will be sent
+to the new remote process through which it receives the *vmstate* in
+order to restore the devices there.
+device emulation in remote process
+The parts of QEMU that the emulation program will need include the
+object model; the memory emulation objects; the device emulation objects
+of the targeted device, and any dependent devices; and, the device's
+backends. It will also need code to setup the machine environment,
+handle requests from the QEMU process, and route machine-level requests
+(such as interrupts or IOMMU mappings) back to the QEMU process.
+The process initialization sequence will follow the same sequence
+followed by QEMU. It will first initialize the backend objects, then
+device emulation objects. The JSON descriptions sent by the QEMU process
+will drive which objects need to be created.
+- address spaces
+Before the device objects are created, the initial address spaces and
+memory regions must be configured with ``memory_map_init()``. This
+creates a RAM memory region object (*system\_memory*) and an IO memory
+region object (*system\_io*).
+RAM memory region creation will follow how ``pc_memory_init()`` creates
+them, but must use ``memory_region_init_ram_from_fd()`` instead of
+``memory_region_allocate_system_memory()``. The file descriptors needed
+will be supplied by the guest memory table from above. Those RAM regions
+would then be added to the *system\_memory* memory region with
+IO initialization will be driven by the JSON descriptions sent from the
+QEMU process. For a PCI device, a PCI bus will need to be created with
+``pci_root_bus_new()``, and a PCI memory region will need to be created
+and added to the *system\_memory* memory region with
+``memory_region_add_subregion_overlap()``. The overlap version is
+required for architectures where PCI memory overlaps with RAM memory.
+The device emulation objects will use ``memory_region_init_io()`` to
+install their MMIO handlers, and ``pci_register_bar()`` to associate
+those handlers with a PCI BAR, as they do within QEMU currently.
+In order to use ``address_space_rw()`` in the emulation process to
+handle MMIO requests from QEMU, the PCI physical addresses must be the
+same in the QEMU process and the device emulation process. In order to
+accomplish that, guest BAR programming must also be forwarded from QEMU
+to the emulation process.
+When device emulation wants to inject an interrupt into the VM, the
+request climbs the device's bus object hierarchy until the point where a
+bus object knows how to signal the interrupt to the guest. The details
+depend on the type of interrupt being raised.
+- PCI pin interrupts
+On x86 systems, there is an emulated IOAPIC object attached to the root
+PCI bus object, and the root PCI object forwards interrupt requests to
+it. The IOAPIC object, in turn, calls the KVM driver to inject the
+corresponding interrupt into the VM. The simplest way to handle this in
+an emulation process would be to setup the root PCI bus driver (via
+``pci_bus_irqs()``) to send a interrupt request back to the QEMU
+process, and have the device proxy object reflect it up the PCI tree
+- PCI MSI/X interrupts
+PCI MSI/X interrupts are implemented in HW as DMA writes to a
+CPU-specific PCI address. In QEMU on x86, a KVM APIC object receives
+these DMA writes, then calls into the KVM driver to inject the interrupt
+into the VM. A simple emulation process implementation would be to send
+the MSI DMA address from QEMU as a message at initialization, then
+install an address space handler at that address which forwards the MSI
+message back to QEMU.
+When a emulation object wants to DMA into or out of guest memory, it
+first must use dma\_memory\_map() to convert the DMA address to a local
+virtual address. The emulation process memory region objects setup above
+will be used to translate the DMA address to a local virtual address the
+device emulation code can access.
+When an IOMMU is in use in QEMU, DMA translation uses IOMMU memory
+regions to translate the DMA address to a guest physical address before
+that physical address can be translated to a local virtual address. The
+emulation process will need similar functionality.
+- IOTLB cache
+The emulation process will maintain a cache of recent IOMMU translations
+(the IOTLB). When the translate() callback of an IOMMU memory region is
+invoked, the IOTLB cache will be searched for an entry that will map the
+DMA address to a guest PA. On a cache miss, a message will be sent back
+to QEMU requesting the corresponding translation entry, which be both be
+used to return a guest address and be added to the cache.
+- IOTLB purge
+The IOMMU emulation will also need to act on unmap requests from QEMU.
+These happen when the guest IOMMU driver purges an entry from the
+guest's translation table.
+When a remote process receives a live migration indication from QEMU, it
+will set up a channel using the received file descriptor with
+``qio_channel_socket_new_fd()``. This channel will be used to create a
+*QEMUfile* that can be passed to ``qemu_save_device_state()`` to send
+the process's device state back to QEMU. This method will be reversed on
+restore - the channel will be passed to ``qemu_loadvm_state()`` to
+restore the device state.
+Accelerating device emulation
+The messages that are required to be sent between QEMU and the emulation
+process can add considerable latency to IO operations. The optimizations
+described below attempt to ameliorate this effect by allowing the
+emulation process to communicate directly with the kernel KVM driver.
+The KVM file descriptors created would be passed to the emulation process
+via initialization messages, much like the guest memory table is done.
+#### MMIO acceleration
+Vhost user applications can receive guest virtio driver stores directly
+from KVM. The issue with the eventfd mechanism used by vhost user is
+that it does not pass any data with the event indication, so it cannot
+handle guest loads or guest stores that carry store data. This concept
+could, however, be expanded to cover more cases.
+The expanded idea would require a new type of KVM device:
+*KVM\_DEV\_TYPE\_USER*. This device has two file descriptors: a master
+descriptor that QEMU can use for configuration, and a slave descriptor
+that the emulation process can use to receive MMIO notifications. QEMU
+would create both descriptors using the KVM driver, and pass the slave
+descriptor to the emulation process via an initialization message.
+- guest physical range
+The guest physical range structure describes the address range that a
+device will respond to. It includes the base and length of the range, as
+well as which bus the range resides on (e.g., on an x86machine, it can
+specify whether the range refers to memory or IO addresses).
+A device can have multiple physical address ranges it responds to (e.g.,
+a PCI device can have multiple BARs), so the structure will also include
+an enumerated identifier to specify which of the device's ranges is
+being referred to.
+| Name | Description |
+| addr | range base address |
+| len | range length |
+| bus | addr type (memory or IO) |
+| id | range ID (e.g., PCI BAR) |
+- MMIO request structure
+This structure describes an MMIO operation. It includes which guest
+physical range the MMIO was within, the offset within that range, the
+MMIO type (e.g., load or store), and its length and data. It also
+includes a sequence number that can be used to reply to the MMIO, and
+the CPU that issued the MMIO.
+| Name | Description |
+| rid | range MMIO is within |
+| offset | offset withing *rid* |
+| type | e.g., load or store |
+| len | MMIO length |
+| data | store data |
+| seq | sequence ID |
+- MMIO request queues
+MMIO request queues are FIFO arrays of MMIO request structures. There
+are two queues: pending queue is for MMIOs that haven't been read by the
+emulation program, and the sent queue is for MMIOs that haven't been
+acknowledged. The main use of the second queue is to validate MMIO
+replies from the emulation program.
+Each CPU in the VM is emulated in QEMU by a separate thread, so multiple
+MMIOs may be waiting to be consumed by an emulation program and multiple
+threads may be waiting for MMIO replies. The scoreboard would contain a
+wait queue and sequence number for the per-CPU threads, allowing them to
+be individually woken when the MMIO reply is received from the emulation
+program. It also tracks the number of posted MMIO stores to the device
+that haven't been replied to, in order to satisfy the PCI constraint
+that a load to a device will not complete until all previous stores to
+that device have been completed.
+- device shadow memory
+Some MMIO loads do not have device side-effects. These MMIOs can be
+completed without sending a MMIO request to the emulation program if the
+emulation program shares a shadow image of the device's memory image
+with the KVM driver.
+The emulation program will ask the KVM driver to allocate memory for the
+shadow image, and will then use ``mmap()`` to directly access it. The
+emulation program can control KVM access to the shadow image by sending
+KVM an access map telling it which areas of the image have no
+side-effects (and can be completed immediately), and which require a
+MMIO request to the emulation program. The access map can also inform
+the KVM drive which size accesses are allowed to the image.
+The master descriptor is used by QEMU to configure the new KVM device.
+The descriptor would be returned by the KVM driver when QEMU issues a
+*KVM\_CREATE\_DEVICE* ``ioctl()`` with a *KVM\_DEV\_TYPE\_USER* type.
+KVM\_DEV\_TYPE\_USER device ops
+The *KVM\_DEV\_TYPE\_USER* operations vector will be registered by a
+``kvm_register_device_ops()`` call when the KVM system in initialized by
+``kvm_init()``. These device ops are called by the KVM driver when QEMU
+executes certain ``ioctl()`` operations on its KVM file descriptor. They
+This routine is called when QEMU issues a *KVM\_CREATE\_DEVICE*
+``ioctl()`` on its per-VM file descriptor. It will allocate and
+initialize a KVM user device specific data structure, and assign the
+*kvm\_device* private field to it.
+This routine is invoked when QEMU issues an ``ioctl()`` on the master
+descriptor. The ``ioctl()`` commands supported are defined by the KVM
+device type. *KVM\_DEV\_TYPE\_USER* ones will need several commands:
+*KVM\_DEV\_USER\_SLAVE\_FD* creates the slave file descriptor that will
+be passed to the device emulation program. Only one slave can be created
+by each master descriptor. The file operations performed by this
+descriptor are described below.
+The *KVM\_DEV\_USER\_PA\_RANGE* command configures a guest physical
+address range that the slave descriptor will receive MMIO notifications
+for. The range is specified by a guest physical range structure
+argument. For buses that assign addresses to devices dynamically, this
+command can be executed while the guest is running, such as the case
+when a guest changes a device's PCI BAR registers.
+*KVM\_DEV\_USER\_PA\_RANGE* will use ``kvm_io_bus_register_dev()`` to
+register *kvm\_io\_device\_ops* callbacks to be invoked when the guest
+performs a MMIO operation within the range. When a range is changed,
+``kvm_io_bus_unregister_dev()`` is used to remove the previous
+*KVM\_DEV\_USER\_TIMEOUT* will configure a timeout value that specifies
+how long KVM will wait for the emulation process to respond to a MMIO
+This routine is called when the VM instance is destroyed. It will need
+to destroy the slave descriptor; and free any memory allocated by the
+driver, as well as the *kvm\_device* structure itself.
+The slave descriptor will have its own file operations vector, which
+responds to system calls on the descriptor performed by the device
+A read returns any pending MMIO requests from the KVM driver as MMIO
+request structures. Multiple structures can be returned if there are
+multiple MMIO operations pending. The MMIO requests are moved from the
+pending queue to the sent queue, and if there are threads waiting for
+space in the pending to add new MMIO operations, they will be woken
+A write also consists of a set of MMIO requests. They are compared to
+the MMIO requests in the sent queue. Matches are removed from the sent
+queue, and any threads waiting for the reply are woken. If a store is
+removed, then the number of posted stores in the per-CPU scoreboard is
+decremented. When the number is zero, and a non side-effect load was
+waiting for posted stores to complete, the load is continued.
+There are several ioctl()s that can be performed on the slave
+A *KVM\_DEV\_USER\_SHADOW\_SIZE* ``ioctl()`` causes the KVM driver to
+allocate memory for the shadow image. This memory can later be
+``mmap()``\ ed by the emulation process to share the emulation's view of
+device memory with the KVM driver.
+A *KVM\_DEV\_USER\_SHADOW\_CTRL* ``ioctl()`` controls access to the
+shadow image. It will send the KVM driver a shadow control map, which
+specifies which areas of the image can complete guest loads without
+sending the load request to the emulation program. It will also specify
+the size of load operations that are allowed.
+An emulation program will use the ``poll()`` call with a *POLLIN* flag
+to determine if there are MMIO requests waiting to be read. It will
+return if the pending MMIO request queue is not empty.
+This call allows the emulation program to directly access the shadow
+image allocated by the KVM driver. As device emulation updates device
+memory, changes with no side-effects will be reflected in the shadow,
+and the KVM driver can satisfy guest loads from the shadow image without
+needing to wait for the emulation program.
+Each KVM per-CPU thread can handle MMIO operation on behalf of the guest
+VM. KVM will use the MMIO's guest physical address to search for a
+matching *kvm\_io\_device* to see if the MMIO can be handled by the KVM
+driver instead of exiting back to QEMU. If a match is found, the
+corresponding callback will be invoked.
+This callback is invoked when the guest performs a load to the device.
+Loads with side-effects must be handled synchronously, with the KVM
+driver putting the QEMU thread to sleep waiting for the emulation
+process reply before re-starting the guest. Loads that do not have
+side-effects may be optimized by satisfying them from the shadow image,
+if there are no outstanding stores to the device by this CPU. PCI memory
+ordering demands that a load cannot complete before all older stores to
+the same device have been completed.
+Stores can be handled asynchronously unless the pending MMIO request
+queue is full. In this case, the QEMU thread must sleep waiting for
+space in the queue. Stores will increment the number of posted stores in
+the per-CPU scoreboard, in order to implement the PCI ordering
+This performance optimization would work much like a vhost user
+application does, where the QEMU process sets up *eventfds* that cause
+the device's corresponding interrupt to be triggered by the KVM driver.
+These irq file descriptors are sent to the emulation process at
+initialization, and are used when the emulation code raises a device
+Traditional PCI pin interrupts are level based, so, in addition to an
+irq file descriptor, a re-sampling file descriptor needs to be sent to
+the emulation program. This second file descriptor allows multiple
+devices sharing an irq to be notified when the interrupt has been
+acknowledged by the guest, so they can re-trigger the interrupt if their
+device has not de-asserted its interrupt.
+intx irq descriptor
+The irq descriptors are created by the proxy object
+``using event_notifier_init()`` to create the irq and re-sampling
+*eventds*, and ``kvm_vm_ioctl(KVM_IRQFD)`` to bind them to an interrupt.
+The interrupt route can be found with
+intx routing changes
+Intx routing can be changed when the guest programs the APIC the device
+pin is connected to. The proxy object in QEMU will use
+``pci_device_set_intx_routing_notifier()`` to be informed of any guest
+changes to the route. This handler will broadly follow the VFIO
+interrupt logic to change the route: de-assigning the existing irq
+descriptor from its route, then assigning it the new route. (see
+MSI/X interrupts are sent as DMA transactions to the host. The interrupt
+data contains a vector that is programmed by the guest, A device may have
+multiple MSI interrupts associated with it, so multiple irq descriptors
+may need to be sent to the emulation program.
+MSI/X irq descriptor
+This case will also follow the VFIO example. For each MSI/X interrupt,
+an *eventfd* is created, a virtual interrupt is allocated by
+``kvm_irqchip_add_msi_route()``, and the virtual interrupt is bound to
+the eventfd with ``kvm_irqchip_add_irqfd_notifier()``.
+MSI/X config space changes
+The guest may dynamically update several MSI-related tables in the
+device's PCI config space. These include per-MSI interrupt enables and
+vector data. Additionally, MSIX tables exist in device memory space, not
+config space. Much like the BAR case above, the proxy object must look
+at guest config space programming to keep the MSI interrupt state
+consistent between QEMU and the emulation program.
+Disaggregated CPU emulation
+After IO services have been disaggregated, a second phase would be to
+separate a process to handle CPU instruction emulation from the main
+QEMU control function. There are no object separation points for this
+code, so the first task would be to create one.
+Host access controls
+Separating QEMU relies on the host OS's access restriction mechanisms to
+enforce that the differing processes can only access the objects they
+are entitled to. There are a couple types of mechanisms usually provided
+by general purpose OSs.
+Discretionary access control
+Discretionary access control allows each user to control who can access
+their files. In Linux, this type of control is usually too coarse for
+QEMU separation, since it only provides three separate access controls:
+one for the same user ID, the second for users IDs with the same group
+ID, and the third for all other user IDs. Each device instance would
+need a separate user ID to provide access control, which is likely to be
+unwieldy for dynamically created VMs.
+Mandatory access control
+Mandatory access control allows the OS to add an additional set of
+controls on top of discretionary access for the OS to control. It also
+adds other attributes to processes and files such as types, roles, and
+categories, and can establish rules for how processes and files can
+Type enforcement assigns a *type* attribute to processes and files, and
+allows rules to be written on what operations a process with a given
+type can perform on a file with a given type. QEMU separation could take
+advantage of type enforcement by running the emulation processes with
+different types, both from the main QEMU process, and from the emulation
+processes of different classes of devices.
+For example, guest disk images and disk emulation processes could have
+types separate from the main QEMU process and non-disk emulation
+processes, and the type rules could prevent processes other than disk
+emulation ones from accessing guest disk images. Similarly, network
+emulation processes can have a type separate from the main QEMU process
+and non-network emulation process, and only that type can access the
+host tun/tap device used to provide guest networking.
+Category enforcement assigns a set of numbers within a given range to
+the process or file. The process is granted access to the file if the
+process's set is a superset of the file's set. This enforcement can be
+used to separate multiple instances of devices in the same class.
+For example, if there are multiple disk devices provides to a guest,
+each device emulation process could be provisioned with a separate
+category. The different device emulation processes would not be able to
+access each other's backing disk images.
+Alternatively, categories could be used in lieu of the type enforcement
+scheme described above. In this scenario, different categories would be
+used to prevent device emulation processes in different classes from
+accessing resources assigned to other classes.
diff --git a/MAINTAINERS b/MAINTAINERS
index 4d9df87..03fd67d 100644
@@ -3173,6 +3173,13 @@ S: Maintained
+M: Elena Ufimtseva <email@example.com>
+M: Jagannathan Raman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
+M: John G Johnson <email@example.com>
Build and test automation
Build and test automation
- [PATCH v17 00/20] Initial support for multi-process Qemu, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 03/20] memory: alloc RAM from file at offset, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 01/20] multi-process: add the concept description to docs/devel/qemu-multiprocess,
Jagannathan Raman <=
- [PATCH v17 02/20] multi-process: add configure and usage information, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 08/20] io: add qio_channel_readv_full_all_eof & qio_channel_readv_full_all helpers, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 05/20] multi-process: setup PCI host bridge for remote device, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 10/20] multi-process: Initialize message handler in remote device, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 12/20] multi-process: setup memory manager for remote device, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 11/20] multi-process: Associate fd of a PCIDevice with its object, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 14/20] multi-process: add proxy communication functions, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 09/20] multi-process: define MPQemuMsg format and transmission functions, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 13/20] multi-process: introduce proxy object, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13
- [PATCH v17 18/20] multi-process: create IOHUB object to handle irq, Jagannathan Raman, 2021/01/13