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Date:   Sat, 17 Oct 2020 09:17:21 +0200
From:   Willy Tarreau <w@....eu>
To:     Jann Horn <jannh@...gle.com>
Cc:     Colm MacCarthaigh <colmmacc@...zon.com>,
        "Catangiu, Adrian Costin" <acatan@...zon.com>,
        Andy Lutomirski <luto@...nel.org>,
        Jason Donenfeld <Jason@...c4.com>,
        "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <tytso@....edu>,
        Eric Biggers <ebiggers@...nel.org>,
        "open list:DOCUMENTATION" <linux-doc@...r.kernel.org>,
        kernel list <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        "open list:VIRTIO GPU DRIVER" 
        <virtualization@...ts.linux-foundation.org>,
        "Graf (AWS), Alexander" <graf@...zon.de>,
        "Woodhouse, David" <dwmw@...zon.co.uk>, bonzini@....org,
        "Singh, Balbir" <sblbir@...zon.com>,
        "Weiss, Radu" <raduweis@...zon.com>, oridgar@...il.com,
        ghammer@...hat.com, Jonathan Corbet <corbet@....net>,
        Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@...uxfoundation.org>,
        "Michael S. Tsirkin" <mst@...hat.com>,
        Qemu Developers <qemu-devel@...gnu.org>,
        KVM list <kvm@...r.kernel.org>,
        Michal Hocko <mhocko@...nel.org>,
        "Rafael J. Wysocki" <rafael@...nel.org>,
        Pavel Machek <pavel@....cz>,
        Linux API <linux-api@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] drivers/virt: vmgenid: add vm generation id driver

On Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 08:55:34AM +0200, Jann Horn wrote:
> My suggestion is to use a counter *in the UAPI*, not in the hypervisor
> protocol. (And as long as that counter can only miss increments in a
> cryptographically negligible fraction of cases, everything's fine.)

OK I got it now and I agree.

> > If what is sought is pure
> > randomness (in the sense that it's unpredictable, which I don't think
> > is needed here), then randoms are better.
> 
> And this is what *the hypervisor protocol* gives us (which could be
> very useful for reseeding the kernel RNG).

As an external source, yes very likely, as long as it's not trivially
observable by everyone under the same hypervisor :-)

> > Now the initial needs in the forwarded message are not entirely clear
> > to me but I wanted to rule out the apparent mismatch between the expressed
> > needs for uniqueness and the proposed solutions solely based on randomness.
> 
> Sure, from a theoretical standpoint, it would be a little bit nicer if
> the hypervisor protocol included a generation number along with the
> 128-bit random value. But AFAIU it doesn't, so if we want this to just
> work under Microsoft's existing hypervisor, we'll have to make do with
> checking whether the random value changed. :P

OK got it, thanks for the explanation!

Willy

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