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SubjectRe: [PATCH v7 00/14] KVM: mm: fd-based approach for supporting KVM guest private memory
On Fri, Apr 14, 2023, Ackerley Tng wrote:
> Sean Christopherson <> writes:
> > On Thu, Apr 13, 2023, Christian Brauner wrote:
> > > * by a mount option to tmpfs that makes it act
> > > in this restricted manner then you don't need an ioctl() and can get
> > > away with regular open calls. Such a tmpfs instance would only create
> > > regular, restricted memfds.
> > I'd prefer to not go this route, becuase IIUC, it would require relatively
> > invasive changes to shmem code, and IIUC would require similar changes to
> > other support backings in the future, e.g. hugetlbfs? And as above, I
> > don't think any of the potential use cases need restrictedmem to be a
> > uniquely identifiable mount.
> FWIW, I'm starting to look at extending restrictedmem to hugetlbfs and
> the separation that the current implementation has is very helpful. Also
> helps that hugetlbfs and tmpfs are structured similarly, I guess.
> > One of the goals (hopefully not a pipe dream) is to design restrictmem in
> > such a way that extending it to support other backing types isn't terribly
> > difficult. In case it's not obvious, most of us working on this stuff
> > aren't filesystems experts, and many of us aren't mm experts either. The
> > more we (KVM folks for the most part) can leverage existing code to do the
> > heavy lifting, the better.
> > After giving myself a bit of a crash course in file systems, would
> > something like the below have any chance of (a) working, (b) getting
> > merged, and (c) being maintainable?
> > The idea is similar to a stacking filesystem, but instead of stacking,
> > restrictedmem hijacks a f_ops and a_ops to create a lightweight shim around
> > tmpfs. There are undoubtedly issues and edge cases, I'm just looking for a
> > quick "yes, this might be doable" or a "no, that's absolutely bonkers,
> > don't try it".
> Not an FS expert by any means, but I did think of approaching it this
> way as well!
> "Hijacking" perhaps gives this approach a bit of a negative connotation.

Heh, commandeer then.

> I thought this is pretty close to subclassing (as in Object
> Oriented Programming). When some methods (e.g. fallocate) are called,
> restrictedmem does some work, and calls the same method in the
> superclass.
> The existing restrictedmem code is a more like instantiating an shmem
> object and keeping that object as a field within the restrictedmem
> object.
> Some (maybe small) issues I can think of now:
> (1)
> One difficulty with this approach is that other functions may make
> assumptions about private_data being of a certain type, or functions may
> use private_data.
> I checked and IIUC neither shmem nor hugetlbfs use the private_data
> field in the inode's i_mapping (also file's f_mapping).
> But there's fs/buffer.c which uses private_data, although those
> functions seem to be used by FSes like ext4 and fat, not memory-backed
> FSes.
> We can probably fix this if any backing filesystems of restrictedmem,
> like tmpfs and future ones use private_data.

Ya, if we go the route of poking into f_ops and stuff, I would want to add
WARN_ON_ONCE() hardening of everything that restrictemem wants to "commandeer" ;-)

> > static int restrictedmem_file_create(struct file *file)
> > {
> > struct address_space *mapping = file->f_mapping;
> > struct restrictedmem *rm;
> > rm = kzalloc(sizeof(*rm), GFP_KERNEL);
> > if (!rm)
> > return -ENOMEM;
> > rm->backing_f_ops = file->f_op;
> > rm->backing_a_ops = mapping->a_ops;
> > rm->file = file;
> We don't really need to do this, since rm->file is already the same as
> file, we could just pass the file itself when it's needed

Aha! I was working on getting rid of it, but forgot to go back and do another

> > init_rwsem(&rm->lock);
> > xa_init(&rm->bindings);
> > file->f_flags |= O_LARGEFILE;
> > file->f_op = &restrictedmem_fops;
> > mapping->a_ops = &restrictedmem_aops;
> I think we probably have to override inode_operations as well, because
> otherwise other methods would become available to a restrictedmem file
> (like link, unlink, mkdir, tmpfile). Or maybe that's a feature instead
> of a bug.

I think we want those? What we want to restrict are operations that require
read/write/execute access to the file, everything else should be ok. fallocate()
is a special case because restrictmem needs to tell KVM to unmap the memory when
a hole is punched. I assume ->setattr() needs similar treatment to handle

I'd love to hear Christian's input on this aspect of things.

> > if (WARN_ON_ONCE(file->private_data)) {
> > err = -EEXIST;
> > goto err_fd;
> > }
> Did you intend this as a check that the backing filesystem isn't using
> the private_data field in the mapping?
> I think you meant file->f_mapping->private_data.

Ya, sounds right. I should have added disclaimers that (a) I wrote this quite
quickly and (b) it's compile tested only at this point.

> On this note, we will probably have to fix things whenever any backing
> filesystems need the private_data field.


> > f = fdget_raw(mount_fd);
> > if (!f.file)
> > return -EBADF;


> > /*
> > * The filesystem must be mounted no-execute, executing from guest
> > * private memory in the host is nonsensical and unsafe.
> > */
> > if (!(mnt->mnt_sb->s_iflags & SB_I_NOEXEC))
> > goto out;

Looking at this more closely, I don't think we need to require NOEXEC, things like
like execve() should get squashed by virtue of not providing any read/write
implementations. And dropping my misguided NOEXEC requirement means there's no
reason to disallow using the kernel internal mount.

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