Re: VFIO (PCI) and write combine mapping of BARs

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[+Catalin, Marc, Jason]

On Fri, Jul 14, 2023 at 12:32:49PM +1000, Benjamin Herrenschmidt wrote:
> Hi Folks !
> I'd like to revive an old discussion as we (Amazon Linux) have been
> getting asks for it.
> What's the best interface to provide the option of write combine mmap's
> of BARs via VFIO ?

There is an ongoing thread on this topic that we should use to
bring this discussion to completion:
> The problem isn't so much the low level implementation, we just have to
> play with the pgprot, the question is more around what API to present
> to control this.
> One trivial way would be to have an ioctl to set a flag for a given
> region/BAR that cause subsequent mmap's to use write-combine. We would
> have to keep a bitmap for the "legacy" regions, and use a flag in
> struct vfio_pci_region for the others.
> One potentially better way is to make it strictly an attribute of
> vfio_pci_region, along with an ioctl that creates a "subregion". The
> idea here is that we would have an ioctl to create a region from an
> existing region dynamically, which represents a subset of the original
> region (typically a BAR), with potentially different attributes (or we
> keep the attribute get/set separate).
> I like the latter more because it will allow to more easily define that
> portions of a BAR can need different attributes without causing
> state/race issues between setting the attribute and mmap.
> This will also enable other attributes than write-combine if/when the
> need arises.
> Any better idea ? thoughs ? objections ?
> This is still quite specific to PCI, but so is the entire regions
> mechanism, so I don't see an easy path to something more generic at
> this stage.
> Cheers,
> Ben.

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