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Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2020 23:51:54 +0200
From: Paolo Bonzini <>
To: Dave Hansen <>,
 Sean Christopherson <>
Cc: "Andersen, John" <>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 2/4] KVM: x86: Introduce paravirt feature CR0/CR4 pinning

On 07/07/20 23:48, Dave Hansen wrote:
> On 7/7/20 2:12 PM, Sean Christopherson wrote:
>>>>> Let's say Intel loses its marbles and adds a CR4 bit that lets userspace
>>>>> write to kernel memory.  Linux won't set it, but an attacker would go
>>>>> after it, first thing.
>> That's an orthogonal to pinning.  KVM never lets the guest set CR4 bits that
>> are unknown to KVM.  Supporting CR4.NO_MARBLES would require an explicit KVM
>> change to allow it to be set by the guest, and would also require a userspace
>> VMM to expose NO_MARBLES to the guest.
>> That being said, this series should supporting pinning as much as possible,
>> i.e. if the bit can be exposed to the guest and doesn't require special
>> handling in KVM, allow it to be pinned.  E.g. TS is a special case because
>> pinning would require additional emulator support and IMO isn't interesting
>> enough to justify the extra complexity.  At a glance, I don't see anything
>> that would prevent pinning FSGSBASE.
> Thanks for filling in the KVM picture.
> If we're supporting as much pinning as possible, can we also add
> something to make it inconvenient for someone to both make a CR4 bit
> known to KVM *and* ignore the pinning aspects?
> We should really make folks think about it.  Something like:
> #define KVM_CR4_KNOWN 0xff
> #define KVM_CR4_PIN_ALLOWED 0xf0
> #define KVM_CR4_PIN_NOT_ALLOWED 0x0f
> So someone *MUST* make an active declaration about new bits being pinned
> or not?

I would just make all unknown bits pinnable (or perhaps all CR4 bits in


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