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From: Jan Beulich <>
Subject: x86/mm: properly flush TLB in switch_cr3_cr4()

The CR3 values used for contexts run with PCID enabled uniformly have
CR3.NOFLUSH set, resulting in the CR3 write itself to not cause any
flushing at all. When the second CR4 write is skipped or doesn't do any
flushing, there's nothing so far which would purge TLB entries which may
have accumulated again if the PCID doesn't change; the "just in case"
flush only affects the case where the PCID actually changes. (There may
be particularly many TLB entries re-accumulated in case of a watchdog
NMI kicking in during the critical time window.)

Suppress the no-flush behavior of the CR3 write in this particular case.

Similarly the second CR4 write may not cause any flushing of TLB entries
established again while the original PCID was still in use - it may get
performed because of unrelated bits changing. The flush of the old PCID
needs to happen nevertheless.

At the same time also eliminate a possible race with lazy context
switch: Just like for CR4, CR3 may change at any time while interrupts
are enabled, due to the __sync_local_execstate() invocation from the
flush IPI handler. It is for that reason that the CR3 read, just like
the CR4 one, must happen only after interrupts have been turned off.

This is XSA-292.

Reported-by: Sergey Dyasli <>
Reported-by: Andrew Cooper <>
Tested-by: Sergey Dyasli <>
Signed-off-by: Jan Beulich <>
Reviewed-by: Andrew Cooper <>
v3: Adjust comments. Drop old_cr4 from the PGE check in the expression
    controlling the invocation of invpcid_flush_single_context(), as PGE
    is always clear there.
v2: Decouple invpcid_flush_single_context() from 2nd CR4 write.

--- a/xen/arch/x86/flushtlb.c
+++ b/xen/arch/x86/flushtlb.c
@@ -103,9 +103,8 @@ static void do_tlb_flush(void)
 void switch_cr3_cr4(unsigned long cr3, unsigned long cr4)
-    unsigned long flags, old_cr4;
+    unsigned long flags, old_cr4, old_pcid;
     u32 t;
-    unsigned long old_pcid = cr3_pcid(read_cr3());
     /* This non-reentrant function is sometimes called in interrupt context. */
@@ -133,15 +132,38 @@ void switch_cr3_cr4(unsigned long cr3, u
+    /*
+     * If we don't change PCIDs, the CR3 write below needs to flush this very
+     * PCID, even when a full flush was performed above, as we are currently
+     * accumulating TLB entries again from the old address space.
+     * NB: Clearing the bit when we don't use PCID is benign (as it is clear
+     * already in that case), but allows the if() to be more simple.
+     */
+    old_pcid = cr3_pcid(read_cr3());
+    if ( old_pcid == cr3_pcid(cr3) )
+        cr3 &= ~X86_CR3_NOFLUSH;
     if ( old_cr4 != cr4 )
-    else if ( old_pcid != cr3_pcid(cr3) )
-        /*
-         * Make sure no TLB entries related to the old PCID created between
-         * flushing the TLB and writing the new %cr3 value remain in the TLB.
-         */
+    /*
+     * Make sure no TLB entries related to the old PCID created between
+     * flushing the TLB and writing the new %cr3 value remain in the TLB.
+     *
+     * The write to CR4 just above has performed a wider flush in certain
+     * cases, which therefore get excluded here. Since that write is
+     * conditional, note in particular that it won't be skipped if PCIDE
+     * transitions from 1 to 0. This is because the CR4 write further up will
+     * have been skipped in this case, as PCIDE and PGE won't both be set at
+     * the same time.
+     *
+     * Note also that PGE is always clear in old_cr4.
+     */
+    if ( old_pcid != cr3_pcid(cr3) &&
+         !(cr4 & X86_CR4_PGE) &&
+         (old_cr4 & X86_CR4_PCIDE) <= (cr4 & X86_CR4_PCIDE) )