The implementation of the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) for amd64, first version. It provides a workaround for the 'meltdown' vulnerability.
The pmap page table is split into kernel-mode table and user-mode table. Kernel-mode table is identical to the non-PTI table, while usermode table is obtained from kernel table by leaving userspace mappings intact, but only leaving the following parts of the kernel mapped:
- kernel text (but not modules text)
- GDT/IDT/task structures
- IST stacks for NMI and doublefault handlers.
Kernel switches to user page table before returning to usermode, and restores full kernel page table on the entry. Initial kernel-mode stack for PTI trampoline is allocated in PCPU, it is only 16 qwords. Kernel entry trampoline switches page tables. then the hardware trap frame is copied to the normal kstack, and execution continues.
IST stacks are kept mapped and no trampoline is needed for NMI/doublefault, but of course page table switch is performed.
On return to usermode, the trampoline is used again, iret frame is copied to the trampoline stack, page tables are switched and iretq is executed. The case of iretq faulting due to the invalid usermode context is tricky, since the frame for fault is appended to the trampoline frame. Besides copying the fault frame and original (corrupted) frame to kstack, the fault frame must be patched to make it look as if the fault occured on the kstack, see the comment in doret_iret detection code in trap().
Currently kernel pages which are mapped during trampoline operation are identical for all pmaps. They are registered using pmap_pti_add_kva(). Besides initial registrations done during boot, LDT and non-common TSS segments are registered if user requested their use. In principle, they can be installed into kernel page table per pmap with some work. Similarly, PCPU can be hidden from userspace mapping using trampoline PCPU page, but again I do not see much benefits besides complexity.
PDPE pages are pre-allocated during boot because we need to know pml4 entries which are copied to the top-level paging structure page, in advance on a new pmap creation. I enforce this to avoid iterating over the all existing pmaps if a new PDPE page is needed for PTI kernel mappings. The iteration is a known problematic operation on i386.
The need to flush hidden kernel translations on the switch to user mode make global tables (PG_G) meaningless and even harming, so PG_G use is disabled for PTI case. Our existing use of PCID is incompatible with PTI and is automatically disabled if PTI is enabled. PCID can be forced on only for developer's benefit.
MCE is known to be broken, it requires IST stack to operate completely correctly even for non-PTI case, and absolutely needs dedicated IST stack because MCE delivery while trampoline did not switched from PTI stack is fatal. The fix is pending.