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Re: [PATCH] MIPS: Close races in TLB modify handlers.

To: Ralf Baechle <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] MIPS: Close races in TLB modify handlers.
From: David Daney <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 09:38:20 -0700
Cc: David Daney <>, "Maciej W. Rozycki" <>,
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On 07/01/2011 01:27 AM, Ralf Baechle wrote:
On Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 04:58:04PM -0700, David Daney wrote:

On 06/30/2011 04:34 PM, Maciej W. Rozycki wrote:
Hi David,

Page table entries are made invalid by writing a zero into the the PTE
slot in a page table.  This creates a race condition with the TLB
modify handlers when they are updating the PTE.

CPU0                              CPU1

.                                 set to not _PAGE_PRESENT (zero)

So now the page not present value (zero) is suddenly valid and user
space programs have access to physical page zero.

We close the race by putting the test for _PAGE_PRESENT and setting of
_PAGE_VALID into an atomic LL/SC section.  This requires more
registers than just K0 and K1 in the handlers, so we need to save some
registers to a save area and then restore them when we are done.
  Hmm, good catch, but doesn't your change pessimise the UP case?
It may, It is really just a first version of the patch.  I am
looking for feedback and testing.

It looks
to me like you save&   restore the scratch registers even though the race
does not apply to UP (you can't interrupt a TLB handler, not at this
That's right.  I will look at trying to generate the old code
sequences for non-SMP.
We can replace all the CONFIG_SMPs in tlbex.c (existing and those added
by your patch) with num_possible_cpus>  1 which will improve readability
and give SMP kernels running on a single processor the uniprocessor TLB
exception handler.

But that's something for a followup patch; your patch is big enough as it
is, it's not as straight forward as it may sound and the 3.0 clock is
ticking ...

I am testing a slight revision (using Context/XContext to get the logical CPU number instead of physical CPU number from EBase). I will not send this revision until Tuesday because we are on holiday until then.

David Daney

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