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RE: [PATCH] virtio-iommu: Default to bypass during boot

From: Tian, Kevin
Subject: RE: [PATCH] virtio-iommu: Default to bypass during boot
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:11:41 +0000

> From: Qemu-devel <qemu-devel-bounces+kevin.tian=intel.com@nongnu.org>
> On Behalf Of Jean-Philippe Brucker
> On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 06:45:18AM -0500, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 11:59:30AM +0100, Jean-Philippe Brucker wrote:
> > > Currently the virtio-iommu device must be programmed before it allows
> > > DMA from any PCI device. This can make the VM entirely unusable when
> a
> > > virtio-iommu driver isn't present, for example in a bootloader that
> > > loads the OS from storage.
> > >
> > > Similarly to the other vIOMMU implementations, default to DMA
> bypassing
> > > the IOMMU during boot. Add a "boot-bypass" option that lets users
> change
> > > this behavior.
> > >
> > > Signed-off-by: Jean-Philippe Brucker <jean-philippe@linaro.org>
> >
> > wouldn't this be a spec violation?
> >
> >
> > When the device is reset, endpoints are not attached to any domain.
> >
> > If the VIRTIO_IOMMU_F_BYPASS feature is negotiated, all accesses from
> > unattached endpoints are allowed and translated by the IOMMU using the
> > identity function. If the feature is not negotiated, any memory access
> > from an unattached endpoint fails. Upon attaching an endpoint in
> > bypass mode to a new domain, any memory access from the endpoint fails,
> > since the domain does not contain any mapping.
> Right, but the device behavior regarding BYPASS is specified as:
>   If the driver does not accept the VIRTIO_IOMMU_F_BYPASS feature, the
>   device SHOULD NOT let endpoints access the guest-physical address space.
> So I figured that the spec could be read as "before feature negotiation
> it's undefined whether the IOMMU is bypassed or not" and so a device
> implementation can choose either (previously discussed at [1]). But it's a
> stretch, we should clarify this.
> Also, the OS might want to know whether DMA was bypassing the IOMMU
> before
> the device is initialized. If there are strong security requirements, then
> boot-bypass means the system was vulnerable to DMA attacks during boot.
> So I'd like to add a new feature bit for this, VIRTIO_IOMMU_F_BOOT_BYPASS,
> that tells whether DMA bypasses the IOMMU before feature negotiation. It's
> only an indicator, accepting the feature doesn't change anything. I'll
> send the spec change shortly.
> Thanks,
> Jean
> [1] https://lore.kernel.org/qemu-
> devel/20200109104032.GA937123@myrica/

I wonder why we didn't define the default behavior to bypass (to align with
other vIOMMUs) in the first place and then have an option (e.g. 
VIRTIO_IOMMU_F_NOBYPASS) to override in case a stricter policy is required. 
In concept when a IOMMU device is uninitialized or reset, it essentially means 
no protection in place thus a bypass behavior. 


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