On Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 02:22:25PM +0200, Juergen Gross wrote:
> Wait - the TLB can be cleared at any time, as Andrew was pointing out.
> No cpu can rely on an address being accessible just because IF is being
> cleared. All that matters is the existing and valid page table entry.
> So clearing IF on a cpu isn't meant to secure the TLB from being
> cleared, but just to avoid interrupts (as the name of the flag is
> suggesting).

Yes, but by holding off the TLB invalidate IPI, we hold off the freeing
of the concurrently unhooked page-table.

> In the Xen case the hypervisor does the following:
> - it checks whether any of the vcpus specified in the cpumask of the
>   flush request is running on any physical cpu
> - if any running vcpu is found an IPI will be sent to the physical cpu
>   and the hypervisor will do the TLB flush there

And this will preempt a vcpu which could have IF cleared, right?

> - any vcpu addressed by the flush and not running will be flagged to
>   flush its TLB when being scheduled the next time
> This ensures no TLB entry to be flushed can be used after return of
> xen_flush_tlb_others().

But that is not a sufficient guarantee. We need the IF to hold off the
TLB invalidate and thereby hold off the freeing of our page-table pages.

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