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Date:   Thu, 23 Sep 2021 14:08:56 +0200
From:   Paolo Bonzini <>
To:     Jarkko Sakkinen <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/2] x86: sgx_vepc: extract sgx_vepc_remove_page

On 21/09/21 21:44, Jarkko Sakkinen wrote:
> "On bare-metal SGX, start of a power cycle zeros all of its reserved 
> memory. This happens after every reboot, but in addition to that 
> happens after waking up from any of the sleep states."
> I can speculate and imagine where this might useful, but no matter
> how trivial or complex it is, this patch needs to nail a concrete
> usage example. I'd presume you know well the exact changes needed for
> QEMU, so from that knowledge it should be easy to write the
> motivational part.

Assuming that it's obvious that QEMU knows how to reset a machine (which 
includes writes to the ACPI reset register, or wakeup from sleep 
states), the question of "why does userspace reuse vEPC" should be 
answered by this paragraph:

"One way to do this is to simply close and reopen the /dev/sgx_vepc file
descriptor and re-mmap the virtual EPC.  However, this is problematic
because it prevents sandboxing the userspace (for example forbidding
open() after the guest starts, or running in a mount namespace that
does not have access to /dev; both are doable with pre-opened file
descriptors and/or SCM_RIGHTS file descriptor passing)."

> Even to a Linux guest, since EPC should stil be represented in the
> state that matches the hardware.  It'd be essentially a corrupted
> state, even if there was measures to resist this. Windows guests
> failing is essentially a side-effect of an issue, not an issue in the
> Windows guests.

Right, Linux is more liberal than it needs to be and ksgxd does the 
EREMOVE itself at the beginning (__sgx_sanitize_pages).  Windows has 
stronger expectations of what can and cannot happen before it boots, 
which are entirely justified.


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