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Re: [PATCH v3 02/10] target/riscv: always allow write_misa() to write MI

From: Andrew Jones
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3 02/10] target/riscv: always allow write_misa() to write MISA
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2023 10:29:22 +0100

On Wed, Feb 15, 2023 at 03:57:18PM -0300, Daniel Henrique Barboza wrote:
> At this moment, and apparently since ever, we have no way of enabling
> RISCV_FEATURE_MISA. This means that all the code from write_misa(), all
> the nuts and bolts that handles how to properly write this CSR, has
> always been a no-op as well because write_misa() will always exit
> earlier.
> This seems to be benign in the majority of cases. Booting an Ubuntu
> 'virt' guest and logging all the calls to 'write_misa' shows that no
> writes to MISA CSR was attempted. Writing MISA, i.e. enabling/disabling
> RISC-V extensions after the machine is powered on, seems to be a niche
> use.
> Regardless, the spec says that MISA is a WARL read-write CSR, and gating
> the writes in the register doesn't make sense. OS and applications
> should be wary of the consequences when writing it, but the write itself
> must always be allowed.

The write is already allowed, i.e. no exception is raised when writing it.
The spec only says that the fields may/can be writable. So we can
correctly implement the spec with just

   return RISCV_EXCP_NONE;

as it has effectively been implemented to this point.

Based on Weiwei Li's pointing out of known bugs, and the fact that
this function has likely never been tested, then maybe we should just
implement it as above for now. Once a better solution to extension
sanity checking exists and a use (or at least test) case arises, then
the function could be expanded with some actually writable bits. (Also,
I think that when/if we do the expansion, then something like the misa_w
config proposed in the previous version of this series may still be
needed in order to allow opting-in/out of the behavior change.)


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