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Date:   Sun, 31 May 2020 13:44:40 +0100
From:   Marc Zyngier <>
To:     Paolo Bonzini <>
Cc:     Gavin Shan <>,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH RFCv2 9/9] arm64: Support async page fault

On 2020-05-29 12:11, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
> On 29/05/20 11:41, Marc Zyngier wrote:
>>>> For x86 the advantage is that the processor can take care of raising 
>>>> the
>>>> stage2 page fault in the guest, so it's faster.
>>> I think there might be too much overhead if the page can be populated
>>> quickly by host. For example, it's fast to populate the pages if 
>>> swapin
>>> isn't involved.
> Those would still be handled by the host.  Only those that are not
> present in the host (which you can see through the MMU notifier) would
> be routed to the guest.  You can do things differently between "not
> present fault because the page table does not exist" and "not present
> fault because the page is missing in the host".
>>> If I'm correct enough, it seems arm64 doesn't have similar mechanism,
>>> routing stage2 page fault to guest.
>> Indeed, this isn't a thing on arm64. Exception caused by a S2 fault 
>> are
>> always routed to EL2.
> Is there an ARM-approved way to reuse the S2 fault syndromes to detect
> async page faults?

It would mean being able to set an ESR_EL2 register value into ESR_EL1,
and there is nothing in the architecture that would allow that, with
the exception of nested virt: a VHE guest hypervisor running at EL1
must be able to observe S2 faults for its own S2, as synthesized by
the host hypervisor.

The trouble is that:
- there is so far no commercially available CPU supporting NV
- even if you could get hold of such a machine, there is no
   guarantee that such "EL2 syndrome at EL1" is valid outside of
   the nested context
- this doesn't solve the issue for non-NV CPUs anyway

> (By the way, another "modern" use for async page faults is for postcopy
> live migration).

Right. That's definitely a more interesting version of "swap-in".

Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny...

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