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Re: [PATCH v2 0/2] block: Use 'read-zeroes=true' mode by default with 'n
Daniel P . Berrangé
Re: [PATCH v2 0/2] block: Use 'read-zeroes=true' mode by default with 'null-co' driver
Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:29:48 +0000
On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 09:44:51AM +0100, Max Reitz wrote:
> On 22.02.21 19:15, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 19, 2021 at 03:09:43PM +0100, Philippe Mathieu-Daudé wrote:
> > > On 2/19/21 12:07 PM, Max Reitz wrote:
> > > > On 13.02.21 22:54, Fam Zheng wrote:
> > > > > On 2021-02-11 15:26, Philippe Mathieu-Daudé wrote:
> > > > > > The null-co driver doesn't zeroize buffer in its default config,
> > > > > > because it is designed for testing and tests want to run fast.
> > > > > > However this confuses security researchers (access to uninit
> > > > > > buffers).
> > > > >
> > > > > I'm a little surprised.
> > > > >
> > > > > Is changing default the only way to fix this? I'm not opposed to
> > > > > changing the default but I'm not convinced this is the easiest way.
> > > > > block/nvme.c also doesn't touch the memory, but defers to the device
> > > > > DMA, why doesn't that confuse the security checker?
> > >
> > > Generally speaking, there is a balance between security and performance.
> > > We try to provide both, but when we can't, my understanding is security
> > > is more important.
> > >
> > > Customers expect a secure product. If they prefer performance and
> > > at the price of security, it is also possible by enabling an option
> > > that is not the default.
> > >
> > > I'm not sure why you mention block/nvme here. I have the understanding
> > > the null-co driver is only useful for testing. Are there production
> > > cases where null-co is used?
> > Do we have any real world figures for the performance of null-co
> > with & without zero'ing ? Before worrying about a tradeoff of
> > security vs performance, it'd be good to know if there is actually
> > a real world performance problem in the first place. Personally I'd
> > go for zero'ing by defualt unless the performance hit was really
> > bad.
> AFAIU, null-co is only used for testing, be it to just create some block
> nodes in the iotests, or perhaps for performance testing where you want to
> get the minimal roundtrip time through the block layer. So there is no
> "real world performance problem", because there is no real world use of
> null-co or null-aio. At least there shouldn’t be.
> That begs the question of whether read-zeroes=off even makes sense, and I
> think it absolutely does.
> In cases where we have a test that just wants a simple block node that
> doesn’t use disk space, the memset() can’t be noticeable. But it’s just a
> test, so do we even need the memset()? Strictly speaking, perhaps not, but
> if someone is to run it via Valgrind or something, they may get false
> positives, so just doing the memset() is the right thing to do.
> For performance tests, it must be possible to set read-zeroes=off, because
> even though “that memset() isn’t noticeable in a functional test”, in a
> hard-core performance test, it will be.
> So we need a switch. It should default to memset(), because (1) making
> tools like Valgrind happy seems like a reasonable objective to me, and (2)
> in the majority of cases, the memset() cannot have a noticeable impact.
Yes, that all makes sense to me.
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- Re: [PATCH v2 0/2] block: Use 'read-zeroes=true' mode by default with 'null-co' driver, (continued)