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Re: [PATCH] x86/retpoline: Fill RSB on context switch for affected CPUs




On Fri, 2018-01-12 at 18:05 +0000, Andrew Cooper wrote:
> 
> If you unconditionally fill the RSB on every entry to supervisor mode,
> then there are never guest-controlled RSB values to be found.
> 
> With that property (and IBRS to protect Skylake+), you shouldn't need
> RSB filling anywhere in the middle.

Yes, that's right.

We have a choice — we can do it on kernel entry (in the interrupt and
syscall and NMI paths), and that's nice and easy and really safe
because we know there's *never* a bad RSB entry lurking while we're in
the kernel.

The alternative, which is what we seem to be learning towards now in
the latest tables from Dave (https://goo.gl/pXbvBE and
https://goo.gl/Grbuhf), is to do it on context switch when we might be
switching from a shallow call stack to a deeper one. Which has much
better performance characteristics for processes which make non-
sleeping syscalls.

The caveat with the latter approach is that we do depend on the fact
that context switches are the only imbalance in the kernel. But that's
OK — we don't have a longjmp or anything else like that. Especially
that goes into a *deeper* call stack. Do we?

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