[RFC PATCH] drm/virtio: Export resource handles via DMA-buf API

Keiichi Watanabe keiichiw at chromium.org
Thu Sep 19 11:41:19 UTC 2019

On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 8:05 PM Gerd Hoffmann <kraxel at redhat.com> wrote:
>   Hi,
> > > No.  DMA master address space in virtual machines is pretty much the
> > > same it is on physical machines.  So, on x86 without iommu, identical
> > > to (guest) physical address space.  You can't re-define it like that.
> >
> > That's not true. Even on x86 without iommu the DMA address space can
> > be different from the physical address space.
> On a standard pc (like the ones emulated by qemu) that is the case.
> It's different on !x86, it also changes with a iommu being present.
> But that is not the main point here.  The point is the dma master
> address already has a definition and you can't simply change that.
> > That could be still just
> > a simple addition/subtraction by constant, but still, the two are
> > explicitly defined without any guarantees about a simple mapping
> > between one or another existing.
> Sure.
> > "A CPU cannot reference a dma_addr_t directly because there may be
> > translation between its physical
> > address space and the DMA address space."
> Also note that dma address space is device-specific.  In case a iommu
> is present in the system you can have *multiple* dma address spaces,
> separating (groups of) devices from each other.  So passing a dma
> address from one device to another isn't going to work.
> > > > However, we could as well introduce a separate DMA address
> > > > space if resource handles are not the right way to refer to the memory
> > > > from other virtio devices.
> > >
> > > s/other virtio devices/other devices/
> > >
> > > dma-bufs are for buffer sharing between devices, not limited to virtio.
> > > You can't re-define that in some virtio-specific way.
> > >
> >
> > We don't need to limit this to virtio devices only. In fact I actually
> > foresee this having a use case with the emulated USB host controller,
> > which isn't a virtio device.
> What exactly?
> > That said, I deliberately referred to virtio to keep the scope of the
> > problem in control. If there is a solution that could work without
> > such assumption, I'm more than open to discuss it, of course.
> But it might lead to taking virtio-specific (or virtualization-specific)
> shortcuts which will hurt in the long run ...
> > As per my understanding of the DMA address, anything that lets the DMA
> > master access the target memory would qualify and there would be no
> > need for an IOMMU in between.
> Yes.  But that DMA address is already defined by the platform, you can't
> freely re-define it.  Well, you sort-of can when you design your own
> virtual iommu for qemu.  But even then you can't just pass around magic
> cookies masqueraded as dma address.  You have to make sure they actually
> form an address space, without buffers overlapping, ...
> > Exactly. The very specific first scenario that we want to start with
> > is allocating host memory through virtio-gpu and using that memory
> > both as output of a video decoder and as input (texture) to Virgil3D.
> > The memory needs to be specifically allocated by the host as only the
> > host can know the requirements for memory allocation of the video
> > decode accelerator hardware.
> So you probably have some virtio-video-decoder.  You allocate a gpu
> buffer, export it as dma-buf, import it into the decoder, then let the
> video decoder render to it.  Right?

Right. I sent an RFC about virtio-vdec (video decoder) to virtio-dev ML today.

In the current design, the driver and the device uses an integer to identify a
DMA-buf. We call this integer a "resource handle" in the RFC. Our prototype
driver uses exposed virtio-gpu's resource handles for this purpose.


> Using dmabufs makes sense for sure.  But we need an separate field in
> struct dma_buf for an (optional) host dmabuf identifier, we can't just
> hijack the dma address.
> cheers,
>   Gerd

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