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Date:   Fri, 7 Aug 2020 13:16:20 -0700
From:   Andy Lutomirski <>
To:     Linus Torvalds <>
Cc:     Willy Tarreau <>, Marc Plumb <>,
        Theodore Ts'o <>, Netdev <>,
        Amit Klein <>,
        Eric Dumazet <>,
        "Jason A. Donenfeld" <>,
        Andrew Lutomirski <>,
        Kees Cook <>,
        Thomas Gleixner <>,
        Peter Zijlstra <>,
        stable <>
Subject: Re: Flaw in "random32: update the net random state on interrupt and activity"

> On Aug 7, 2020, at 12:57 PM, Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 12:33 PM Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>> No one said we have to do only one ChaCha20 block per slow path hit.
> Sure, doing more might be better for amortizing the cost.
> But you have to be very careful about latency spikes. I would be
> *really* nervous about doing a whole page at a time, when this is
> called from routines that literally expect it to be less than 50
> cycles.
> So I would seriously suggest you look at a much smaller buffer. Maybe
> not a single block, but definitely not multiple kB either.
> Maybe something like 2 cachelines might be ok, but there's a reason
> the current code only works with 16 bytes (or whatever) and only does
> simple operations with no looping.
> That's why I think you might look at a single double-round ChaCha20
> instead. Maybe do it for two blocks - by the time you wrap around,
> you'll have done more than a full ChaCaa20.
> That would imnsho *much* better than doing some big block, and have
> huge latency spikes and flush a large portion of your L1 when they
> happen. Nasty nasty behavior.
> I really think the whole "we can amortize it with bigger blocks" is
> complete and utter garbage. It's classic "benchmarketing" crap.

I think this will come down to actual measurements :). If the cost of one block of cache-cold ChaCha20 is 100 cycles of actual computation and 200 cycles of various cache misses, then let’s do more than one block.

I’ll get something working and we’ll see. 

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