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Re: [QEMU TCG] Qeustion about the PCID Feature in TCG

From: Kaifeng Xu
Subject: Re: [QEMU TCG] Qeustion about the PCID Feature in TCG
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2021 12:59:42 -0500

Nice to get your replies. I am doing some research which requires me to have some system level memory traces for all memory instructions. I want to use that trace to do some TLB or cache studies. 

Actually I don't care if I have the full PCID instruction implementation, I just need to know the PCID of each memory access, in order to do tagged TLB studies. 

So I still have 2 questions:
1. Can I do this work in KVM mode, i.e. can plugin work in KVM mode? 
2. Do I need to change anything to get the right PCID? I have seen the PCID field get set in cr3 but I am not sure it's the right one.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM Paolo Bonzini <pbonzini@redhat.com> wrote:
On 18/02/21 12:43, Alex Bennée wrote:
> Kaifeng Xu <kaifengx@princeton.edu> writes:
>> Hi,
>> I am running QEMU in TCG mode (my server doesn't have kvm support), and I
>> am getting the memory traces in a x86 guest machine of all memory accesses,
>> including the PCID (process-context identifier, and I need that for my
>> current research), on a linux host. I have seen the TCG PCID feature flag
>> is commented out in target/i386/cpu.c, and if I directly emulate a CPU
>> which has PCID flag I got the warning:
>> warning: TCG doesn't support requested feature: CPUID.01H:ECX.pcid [bit 17]
>> so I uncommented the CPUID_EXT_PCID in TCG_EXT_FEATURES, and
>> the CPUID_7_0_EBX_INVPCID in TCG_7_0_EBX_FEATURES, in  target/i386/cpu.c. I
>> have seen the PCID in the cr3 register in cpu get set, my question is that
>> I am not sure if there will be any issues with this flag. Why is it
>> commented out by default?
> Typically the TCG implementation of x86 is fairly behind the features
> that may be reported or need to be handled for KVM. For example TCG
> doesn't support the most recent AVX instructions.
> I can't speak to how much effort it would be to implement PCID for x86
> TCG, that is probably a question best aimed at the maintainers for the
> architecture (cc'd).

Little, overall.  You don't have to _actually_ support PCID-tagging in
the TLB, you only need to support the instruction; in general, using TCG
as a benchmarking platform for something that depends on MMU events such
as TLB misses is not a good idea).

In this case, everything seemingly works because QEMU is not checking
reserved bits in CR3 and CR4 (see cpu_x86_update_cr3 and
cpu_x86_update_cr4 in target/i386/helper.c).

A smaller issue is that PCID without the INVPCID instruction makes
little sense, so you would have to implement that as well.


>> Just in case, I will put my commands here. Here are my configurations for
>> compiling:
>> *./configure --prefix=/tigress/kaifengx/sysroot/
>> --target-list=x86_64-softmmu,x86_64-linux-user --disable-kvm --disable-vnc
>> --enable-gtk --enable-plugins*
>> And my command for running the QEMU:
>> *qemu-system-x86_64 \*
>> *    -cpu qemu64,+pcid\    -m 4G \    -icount shift=0 \    -drive
>> if=virtio,file=${DISK},cache=none \    -device pqii \    -trace
>> events=`pwd`/events \    -D ${LOG_FILE} \    -net
>> user,hostfwd=tcp::10022-:22 \    -net nic \    -display none \
>> -nographic \    -plugin QEMU_PATH/tests/plugin/libtlb.so,arg=inline,arg=io*
> Ahh good to see another plugin user. Be aware I just recently posted
> a pull request that fixes some recent breakages in the inline handling.
> What are you trying to measure with the plugin?

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