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authorAvi Kivity <avi@redhat.com>2010-04-21 16:08:20 +0300
committerAvi Kivity <avi@redhat.com>2010-05-17 12:19:12 +0300
commit039091875ce4629d83db64c055528e7b86337d50 (patch)
tree00bef8874736d36f3362f892c36f5ad299fc5f11
parentcdbecfc398a904ce9f5c126638b09a2429fb86ed (diff)
KVM: Document mmu
Signed-off-by: Avi Kivity <avi@redhat.com>
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+The x86 kvm shadow mmu
+======================
+
+The mmu (in arch/x86/kvm, files mmu.[ch] and paging_tmpl.h) is responsible
+for presenting a standard x86 mmu to the guest, while translating guest
+physical addresses to host physical addresses.
+
+The mmu code attempts to satisfy the following requirements:
+
+- correctness: the guest should not be able to determine that it is running
+ on an emulated mmu except for timing (we attempt to comply
+ with the specification, not emulate the characteristics of
+ a particular implementation such as tlb size)
+- security: the guest must not be able to touch host memory not assigned
+ to it
+- performance: minimize the performance penalty imposed by the mmu
+- scaling: need to scale to large memory and large vcpu guests
+- hardware: support the full range of x86 virtualization hardware
+- integration: Linux memory management code must be in control of guest memory
+ so that swapping, page migration, page merging, transparent
+ hugepages, and similar features work without change
+- dirty tracking: report writes to guest memory to enable live migration
+ and framebuffer-based displays
+- footprint: keep the amount of pinned kernel memory low (most memory
+ should be shrinkable)
+- reliablity: avoid multipage or GFP_ATOMIC allocations
+
+Acronyms
+========
+
+pfn host page frame number
+hpa host physical address
+hva host virtual address
+gfn guest frame number
+gpa guest physical address
+gva guest virtual address
+ngpa nested guest physical address
+ngva nested guest virtual address
+pte page table entry (used also to refer generically to paging structure
+ entries)
+gpte guest pte (referring to gfns)
+spte shadow pte (referring to pfns)
+tdp two dimensional paging (vendor neutral term for NPT and EPT)
+
+Virtual and real hardware supported
+===================================
+
+The mmu supports first-generation mmu hardware, which allows an atomic switch
+of the current paging mode and cr3 during guest entry, as well as
+two-dimensional paging (AMD's NPT and Intel's EPT). The emulated hardware
+it exposes is the traditional 2/3/4 level x86 mmu, with support for global
+pages, pae, pse, pse36, cr0.wp, and 1GB pages. Work is in progress to support
+exposing NPT capable hardware on NPT capable hosts.
+
+Translation
+===========
+
+The primary job of the mmu is to program the processor's mmu to translate
+addresses for the guest. Different translations are required at different
+times:
+
+- when guest paging is disabled, we translate guest physical addresses to
+ host physical addresses (gpa->hpa)
+- when guest paging is enabled, we translate guest virtual addresses, to
+ guest physical addresses, to host physical addresses (gva->gpa->hpa)
+- when the guest launches a guest of its own, we translate nested guest
+ virtual addresses, to nested guest physical addresses, to guest physical
+ addresses, to host physical addresses (ngva->ngpa->gpa->hpa)
+
+The primary challenge is to encode between 1 and 3 translations into hardware
+that support only 1 (traditional) and 2 (tdp) translations. When the
+number of required translations matches the hardware, the mmu operates in
+direct mode; otherwise it operates in shadow mode (see below).
+
+Memory
+======
+
+Guest memory (gpa) is part of user address space of the process that is using
+kvm. Userspace defines the translation between guest addresses and user
+addresses (gpa->hva); note that two gpas may alias to the same gva, but not
+vice versa.
+
+These gvas may be backed using any method available to the host: anonymous
+memory, file backed memory, and device memory. Memory might be paged by the
+host at any time.
+
+Events
+======
+
+The mmu is driven by events, some from the guest, some from the host.
+
+Guest generated events:
+- writes to control registers (especially cr3)
+- invlpg/invlpga instruction execution
+- access to missing or protected translations
+
+Host generated events:
+- changes in the gpa->hpa translation (either through gpa->hva changes or
+ through hva->hpa changes)
+- memory pressure (the shrinker)
+
+Shadow pages
+============
+
+The principal data structure is the shadow page, 'struct kvm_mmu_page'. A
+shadow page contains 512 sptes, which can be either leaf or nonleaf sptes. A
+shadow page may contain a mix of leaf and nonleaf sptes.
+
+A nonleaf spte allows the hardware mmu to reach the leaf pages and
+is not related to a translation directly. It points to other shadow pages.
+
+A leaf spte corresponds to either one or two translations encoded into
+one paging structure entry. These are always the lowest level of the
+translation stack, with an optional higher level translations left to NPT/EPT.
+Leaf ptes point at guest pages.
+
+The following table shows translations encoded by leaf ptes, with higher-level
+translations in parentheses:
+
+ Non-nested guests:
+ nonpaging: gpa->hpa
+ paging: gva->gpa->hpa
+ paging, tdp: (gva->)gpa->hpa
+ Nested guests:
+ non-tdp: ngva->gpa->hpa (*)
+ tdp: (ngva->)ngpa->gpa->hpa
+
+(*) the guest hypervisor will encode the ngva->gpa translation into its page
+ tables if npt is not present
+
+Shadow pages contain the following information:
+ role.level:
+ The level in the shadow paging hierarchy that this shadow page belongs to.
+ 1=4k sptes, 2=2M sptes, 3=1G sptes, etc.
+ role.direct:
+ If set, leaf sptes reachable from this page are for a linear range.
+ Examples include real mode translation, large guest pages backed by small
+ host pages, and gpa->hpa translations when NPT or EPT is active.
+ The linear range starts at (gfn << PAGE_SHIFT) and its size is determined
+ by role.level (2MB for first level, 1GB for second level, 0.5TB for third
+ level, 256TB for fourth level)
+ If clear, this page corresponds to a guest page table denoted by the gfn
+ field.
+ role.quadrant:
+ When role.cr4_pae=0, the guest uses 32-bit gptes while the host uses 64-bit
+ sptes. That means a guest page table contains more ptes than the host,
+ so multiple shadow pages are needed to shadow one guest page.
+ For first-level shadow pages, role.quadrant can be 0 or 1 and denotes the
+ first or second 512-gpte block in the guest page table. For second-level
+ page tables, each 32-bit gpte is converted to two 64-bit sptes
+ (since each first-level guest page is shadowed by two first-level
+ shadow pages) so role.quadrant takes values in the range 0..3. Each
+ quadrant maps 1GB virtual address space.
+ role.access:
+ Inherited guest access permissions in the form uwx. Note execute
+ permission is positive, not negative.
+ role.invalid:
+ The page is invalid and should not be used. It is a root page that is
+ currently pinned (by a cpu hardware register pointing to it); once it is
+ unpinned it will be destroyed.
+ role.cr4_pae:
+ Contains the value of cr4.pae for which the page is valid (e.g. whether
+ 32-bit or 64-bit gptes are in use).
+ role.cr4_nxe:
+ Contains the value of efer.nxe for which the page is valid.
+ gfn:
+ Either the guest page table containing the translations shadowed by this
+ page, or the base page frame for linear translations. See role.direct.
+ spt:
+ A pageful of 64-bit sptes containig the translations for this page.
+ Accessed by both kvm and hardware.
+ The page pointed to by spt will have its page->private pointing back
+ at the shadow page structure.
+ sptes in spt point either at guest pages, or at lower-level shadow pages.
+ Specifically, if sp1 and sp2 are shadow pages, then sp1->spt[n] may point
+ at __pa(sp2->spt). sp2 will point back at sp1 through parent_pte.
+ The spt array forms a DAG structure with the shadow page as a node, and
+ guest pages as leaves.
+ gfns:
+ An array of 512 guest frame numbers, one for each present pte. Used to
+ perform a reverse map from a pte to a gfn.
+ slot_bitmap:
+ A bitmap containing one bit per memory slot. If the page contains a pte
+ mapping a page from memory slot n, then bit n of slot_bitmap will be set
+ (if a page is aliased among several slots, then it is not guaranteed that
+ all slots will be marked).
+ Used during dirty logging to avoid scanning a shadow page if none if its
+ pages need tracking.
+ root_count:
+ A counter keeping track of how many hardware registers (guest cr3 or
+ pdptrs) are now pointing at the page. While this counter is nonzero, the
+ page cannot be destroyed. See role.invalid.
+ multimapped:
+ Whether there exist multiple sptes pointing at this page.
+ parent_pte/parent_ptes:
+ If multimapped is zero, parent_pte points at the single spte that points at
+ this page's spt. Otherwise, parent_ptes points at a data structure
+ with a list of parent_ptes.
+ unsync:
+ If true, then the translations in this page may not match the guest's
+ translation. This is equivalent to the state of the tlb when a pte is
+ changed but before the tlb entry is flushed. Accordingly, unsync ptes
+ are synchronized when the guest executes invlpg or flushes its tlb by
+ other means. Valid for leaf pages.
+ unsync_children:
+ How many sptes in the page point at pages that are unsync (or have
+ unsynchronized children).
+ unsync_child_bitmap:
+ A bitmap indicating which sptes in spt point (directly or indirectly) at
+ pages that may be unsynchronized. Used to quickly locate all unsychronized
+ pages reachable from a given page.
+
+Reverse map
+===========
+
+The mmu maintains a reverse mapping whereby all ptes mapping a page can be
+reached given its gfn. This is used, for example, when swapping out a page.
+
+Synchronized and unsynchronized pages
+=====================================
+
+The guest uses two events to synchronize its tlb and page tables: tlb flushes
+and page invalidations (invlpg).
+
+A tlb flush means that we need to synchronize all sptes reachable from the
+guest's cr3. This is expensive, so we keep all guest page tables write
+protected, and synchronize sptes to gptes when a gpte is written.
+
+A special case is when a guest page table is reachable from the current
+guest cr3. In this case, the guest is obliged to issue an invlpg instruction
+before using the translation. We take advantage of that by removing write
+protection from the guest page, and allowing the guest to modify it freely.
+We synchronize modified gptes when the guest invokes invlpg. This reduces
+the amount of emulation we have to do when the guest modifies multiple gptes,
+or when the a guest page is no longer used as a page table and is used for
+random guest data.
+
+As a side effect we have resynchronize all reachable unsynchronized shadow
+pages on a tlb flush.
+
+
+Reaction to events
+==================
+
+- guest page fault (or npt page fault, or ept violation)
+
+This is the most complicated event. The cause of a page fault can be:
+
+ - a true guest fault (the guest translation won't allow the access) (*)
+ - access to a missing translation
+ - access to a protected translation
+ - when logging dirty pages, memory is write protected
+ - synchronized shadow pages are write protected (*)
+ - access to untranslatable memory (mmio)
+
+ (*) not applicable in direct mode
+
+Handling a page fault is performed as follows:
+
+ - if needed, walk the guest page tables to determine the guest translation
+ (gva->gpa or ngpa->gpa)
+ - if permissions are insufficient, reflect the fault back to the guest
+ - determine the host page
+ - if this is an mmio request, there is no host page; call the emulator
+ to emulate the instruction instead
+ - walk the shadow page table to find the spte for the translation,
+ instantiating missing intermediate page tables as necessary
+ - try to unsynchronize the page
+ - if successful, we can let the guest continue and modify the gpte
+ - emulate the instruction
+ - if failed, unshadow the page and let the guest continue
+ - update any translations that were modified by the instruction
+
+invlpg handling:
+
+ - walk the shadow page hierarchy and drop affected translations
+ - try to reinstantiate the indicated translation in the hope that the
+ guest will use it in the near future
+
+Guest control register updates:
+
+- mov to cr3
+ - look up new shadow roots
+ - synchronize newly reachable shadow pages
+
+- mov to cr0/cr4/efer
+ - set up mmu context for new paging mode
+ - look up new shadow roots
+ - synchronize newly reachable shadow pages
+
+Host translation updates:
+
+ - mmu notifier called with updated hva
+ - look up affected sptes through reverse map
+ - drop (or update) translations
+
+Further reading
+===============
+
+- NPT presentation from KVM Forum 2008
+ http://www.linux-kvm.org/wiki/images/c/c8/KvmForum2008%24kdf2008_21.pdf
+

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