Re: [RFC] x86: xsave/xrstor support, ucontext_t extensions

From: H. Peter Anvin
Date: Tue May 20 2008 - 11:02:21 EST

Mikael Pettersson wrote:
> > Are they always zeroed in earlier CPUs though? If not that wouldn't
> work 100% reliably because whatever cookie you put in could have been
> there before by chance.

I wrote a test program (fill an area with zeroes, fxsave, inspect
reserved fields, then fill it with ones, fxsave, inspect again),
and all processors appear to just not write anything to the reserved
fields after the last xmm register. (Tested on an old Mobile Athlon64,
Opteron 280, P4 Xeon, Pentium-D, and C2 Xeon E5345.)

So the question now is what if anything has the Linux kernel written
to those reserved fields. (Looking..) Hmm, signal delivery on x86-64
seems to do fxsave directly to the fxsave area in the user's sigframe,
which would imply that the reserved fields have unpredictable values.

OK, so that's not a usable path unless we can find some area in the existing data set to put a flag. Groan.

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