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Date:	Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:35:12 -0600
From:	Alex Williamson <>
To:	Alexey Kardashevskiy <>
	Benjamin Herrenschmidt <>,,,
	Alexander Graf <>,
	Nikunj A Dadhania <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] vfio: Fix endianness handling for emulated BARs

On Wed, 2014-06-18 at 21:36 +1000, Alexey Kardashevskiy wrote:
> VFIO exposes BARs to user space as a byte stream so userspace can
> read it using pread()/pwrite(). Since this is a byte stream, VFIO should
> not do byte swapping and simply return values as it gets them from
> PCI device.
> Instead, the existing code assumes that byte stream in read/write is
> little-endian and it fixes endianness for values which it passes to
> ioreadXX/iowriteXX helpers. This works for little-endian as PCI is
> little endian and le32_to_cpu/... are stubs.

vfio read32:

val = cpu_to_le32(ioread32(io + off));

Where the typical x86 case, ioread32 is:

#define ioread32(addr)          readl(addr)

and readl is:


So we do canceling byte swaps, which are both nops on x86, and end up
returning device endian, which we assume is little endian.

vfio write32 is similar:

iowrite32(le32_to_cpu(val), io + off);

The implicit cpu_to_le32 of iowrite32() and our explicit swap cancel
out, so input data is device endian, which is assumed little.

> This also works for big endian but rather by an accident: it reads 4 bytes
> from the stream (@val is big endian), converts to CPU format (which should
> be big endian) as it was little endian (@val becomes actually little
> endian) and calls iowrite32() which does not do swapping on big endian
> system.


In arch/powerpc/kernel/iomap.c iowrite32() is just a wrapper around
writel(), which seems to use the generic implementation, which does
include a cpu_to_le32.

I also see other big endian archs like parisc doing cpu_to_le32 on
iowrite32, so I don't think this statement is true.  I imagine it's
probably working for you because the swap cancel.

> This removes byte swapping and makes use ioread32be/iowrite32be
> (and 16bit versions) on big-endian systems. The "be" helpers take
> native endian values and do swapping at the moment of writing to a PCI
> register using one of "store byte-reversed" instructions.

So now you want iowrite32() on little endian and iowrite32be() on big
endian, the former does a cpu_to_le32 (which is a nop on little endian)
and the latter does a cpu_to_be32 (which is a nop on big endian)...
should we just be using __raw_writel() on both?  There doesn't actually
seem to be any change in behavior here, it just eliminates back-to-back
byte swaps, which are a nop on x86, but not power, right?

> Suggested-by: Benjamin Herrenschmidt <>
> Signed-off-by: Alexey Kardashevskiy <>
> ---
>  drivers/vfio/pci/vfio_pci_rdwr.c | 20 ++++++++++++++++----
>  1 file changed, 16 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/drivers/vfio/pci/vfio_pci_rdwr.c b/drivers/vfio/pci/vfio_pci_rdwr.c
> index 210db24..f363b5a 100644
> --- a/drivers/vfio/pci/vfio_pci_rdwr.c
> +++ b/drivers/vfio/pci/vfio_pci_rdwr.c
> @@ -21,6 +21,18 @@
>  #include "vfio_pci_private.h"
> +#ifdef __BIG_ENDIAN__
> +#define ioread16_native		ioread16be
> +#define ioread32_native		ioread32be
> +#define iowrite16_native	iowrite16be
> +#define iowrite32_native	iowrite32be
> +#else
> +#define ioread16_native		ioread16
> +#define ioread32_native		ioread32
> +#define iowrite16_native	iowrite16
> +#define iowrite32_native	iowrite32
> +#endif
> +
>  /*
>   * Read or write from an __iomem region (MMIO or I/O port) with an excluded
>   * range which is inaccessible.  The excluded range drops writes and fills
> @@ -50,9 +62,9 @@ static ssize_t do_io_rw(void __iomem *io, char __user *buf,
>  				if (copy_from_user(&val, buf, 4))
>  					return -EFAULT;
> -				iowrite32(le32_to_cpu(val), io + off);
> +				iowrite32_native(val, io + off);
>  			} else {
> -				val = cpu_to_le32(ioread32(io + off));
> +				val = ioread32_native(io + off);
>  				if (copy_to_user(buf, &val, 4))
>  					return -EFAULT;
> @@ -66,9 +78,9 @@ static ssize_t do_io_rw(void __iomem *io, char __user *buf,
>  				if (copy_from_user(&val, buf, 2))
>  					return -EFAULT;
> -				iowrite16(le16_to_cpu(val), io + off);
> +				iowrite16_native(val, io + off);
>  			} else {
> -				val = cpu_to_le16(ioread16(io + off));
> +				val = ioread16_native(io + off);
>  				if (copy_to_user(buf, &val, 2))
>  					return -EFAULT;

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