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Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Next gen kvm api

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On 02/15/2012 04:08 PM, Alexander Graf wrote:
> > 
> > Well, the scatter/gather registers I proposed will give you just one
> > register or all of them.
>
> One register is hardly any use. We either need all ways of a respective address to do a full fledged lookup or all of them. 

I should have said, just one register, or all of them, or anything in
between.

> By sharing the same data structures between qemu and kvm, we actually managed to reuse all of the tcg code for lookups, just like you do for x86.

Sharing the data structures is not need.  Simply synchronize them before
lookup, like we do for ordinary registers.

>  On x86 you also have shared memory for page tables, it's just guest visible, hence in guest memory. The concept is the same.

But cr3 isn't, and if we put it in shared memory, we'd have to VMREAD it
on every exit.  And you're risking the same thing if your hardware gets
cleverer.

> > 
> >>> btw, why are you interested in virtual addresses in userspace at all?
> >> 
> >> We need them for gdb and monitor introspection.
> > 
> > Hardly fast paths that justify shared memory.  I should be much harder
> > on you.
>
> It was a tradeoff on speed and complexity. This way we have the least amount of complexity IMHO. All KVM code paths just magically fit in with the TCG code. 

It's too magical, fitting a random version of a random userspace
component.  Now you can't change this tcg code (and still keep the magic).

Some complexity is part of keeping software as separate components.

> There are essentially no if(kvm_enabled)'s in our MMU walking code, because the tables are just there. Makes everything a lot easier (without dragging down performance).

We have the same issue with registers.  There we call
cpu_synchronize_state() before every access.  No magic, but we get to
reuse the code just the same.

> > 
> >>> 
> >>> One thing that's different is that virtio offloads itself to a thread
> >>> very quickly, while IDE does a lot of work in vcpu thread context.
> >> 
> >> So it's all about latencies again, which could be reduced at least a fair bit with the scheme I described above. But really, this needs to be prototyped and benchmarked to actually give us data on how fast it would get us.
> > 
> > Simply making qemu issue the request from a thread would be way better. 
> > Something like socketpair mmio, configured for not waiting for the
> > writes to be seen (posted writes) will also help by buffering writes in
> > the socket buffer.
>
> Yup, nice idea. That only works when all parts of a device are actually implemented through the same socket though. 

Right, but that's not an issue.

> Otherwise you could run out of order. So if you have a PCI device with a PIO and an MMIO BAR region, they would both have to be handled through the same socket.

I'm more worried about interactions between hotplug and a device, and
between people issuing unrelated PCI reads to flush writes (not sure
what the hardware semantics are there).  It's easy to get this wrong.

> >>> 
> >>> COWs usually happen from guest userspace, while mmio is usually from the
> >>> guest kernel, so you can switch on that, maybe.
> >> 
> >> Hrm, nice idea. That might fall apart with user space drivers that we might eventually have once vfio turns out to work well, but for the time being it's a nice hack :).
> > 
> > Or nested virt...
>
> Nested virt on ppc with device assignment? And here I thought I was the crazy one of the two of us :)

I don't mind being crazy on somebody else's arch.

-- 
I have a truly marvellous patch that fixes the bug which this
signature is too narrow to contain.

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