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Date:	Tue, 6 Oct 2015 15:15:57 +0300
From:	Avi Kivity <avi@...lladb.com>
To:	Stephen Hemminger <stephen@...workplumber.org>,
	"Michael S. Tsirkin" <mst@...hat.com>
Cc:	dev@...k.org, hjk@...sjkoch.de, gregkh@...ux-foundation.org,
	linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] [PATCH 2/2] uio: new driver to support PCI MSI-X

On 10/06/2015 10:33 AM, Stephen Hemminger wrote:
> Other than implementation objections, so far the two main arguments
> against this reduce to:
>    1. If you allow UIO ioctl then it opens an API hook for all the crap out
>       of tree UIO drivers to do what they want.
>    2. If you allow UIO MSI-X then you are expanding the usage of userspace
>       device access in an insecure manner.
>
> Another alternative which I explored was making a version of VFIO that
> works without IOMMU. It solves #1 but actually increases the likely negative
> response to arguent #2. This would keep same API, and avoid having to
> modify UIO. But we would still have the same (if not more resistance)
> from IOMMU developers who believe all systems have to be secure against
> root.

vfio's charter was explicitly aiming for modern setups with iommus.

This could be revisited, but I agree it will have even more resistance, 
justified IMO.

btw, (2) doesn't really add any insecurity.  The user could already poke 
at the msix tables (as well as perform DMA); they just couldn't get a 
useful interrupt out of them.

Maybe a module parameter "allow_insecure_dma" can be added to 
uio_pci_generic.  Without the parameter, bus mastering and msix is 
disabled, with the parameter it is allowed.  This requires the sysadmin 
to take a positive step in order to make use of their hardware.

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