(Same meaning for backend/container/BE)

With the introduction of iommufd, the Linux kernel provides a generic interface for user space drivers to propagate their DMA mappings to kernel for assigned devices. While the legacy kernel interface is group-centric, the new iommufd interface is device-centric, relying on device fd and iommufd.

To support both interfaces in the QEMU VFIO device, introduce a base container to abstract the common part of VFIO legacy and iommufd container. So that the generic VFIO code can use either container.

The base container implements generic functions such as memory_listener and address space management whereas the derived container implements callbacks specific to either legacy or iommufd. Each container has its own way to setup secure context and dma management interface. The below diagram shows how it looks like with both containers.

                    VFIO                           AddressSpace/Memory
    +-------+  +----------+  +-----+  +-----+
    |  pci  |  | platform |  |  ap |  | ccw |
    +---+---+  +----+-----+  +--+--+  +--+--+     +----------------------+
        |           |           |        |        |   AddressSpace       |
        |           |           |        |        +------------+---------+
    +---V-----------V-----------V--------V----+               /
    |           VFIOAddressSpace              | <------------+
    |                  |                      |  MemoryListener
    |        VFIOContainerBase list           |
            |                            |
            |                            |
    +-------V------+            +--------V----------+
    |   iommufd    |            |    vfio legacy    |
    |  container   |            |     container     |
    +-------+------+            +--------+----------+
            |                            |
            | /dev/iommu                 | /dev/vfio/vfio
            | /dev/vfio/devices/vfioX    | /dev/vfio/$group_id
Userspace   |                            |
Kernel      |  device fd                 |
            +---------------+            | group/container fd
            | (BIND_IOMMUFD |            | (SET_CONTAINER/SET_IOMMU)
            |  ATTACH_IOAS) |            | device fd
            |               |            |
            |       +-------V------------V-----------------+
    iommufd |       |                vfio                  |
(map/unmap  |       +---------+--------------------+-------+
ioas_copy)  |                 |                    | map/unmap
            |                 |                    |
     +------V------+    +-----V------+      +------V--------+
     | iommfd core |    |  device    |      |  vfio iommu   |
     +-------------+    +------------+      +---------------+
  • Secure Context setup

    • iommufd BE: uses device fd and iommufd to setup secure context (bind_iommufd, attach_ioas)

    • vfio legacy BE: uses group fd and container fd to setup secure context (set_container, set_iommu)

  • Device access

    • iommufd BE: device fd is opened through /dev/vfio/devices/vfioX

    • vfio legacy BE: device fd is retrieved from group fd ioctl

  • DMA Mapping flow

    1. VFIOAddressSpace receives MemoryRegion add/del via MemoryListener

    2. VFIO populates DMA map/unmap via the container BEs * iommufd BE: uses iommufd * vfio legacy BE: uses container fd

Example configuration

Step 1: configure the host device

It’s exactly same as the VFIO device with legacy VFIO container.

Step 2: configure QEMU

Interactions with the /dev/iommu are abstracted by a new iommufd object (compiled in with the CONFIG_IOMMUFD option).

Any QEMU device (e.g. VFIO device) wishing to use /dev/iommu must be linked with an iommufd object. It gets a new optional property named iommufd which allows to pass an iommufd object. Take vfio-pci device for example:

-object iommufd,id=iommufd0
-device vfio-pci,host=0000:02:00.0,iommufd=iommufd0

Note the /dev/iommu and VFIO cdev can be externally opened by a management layer. In such a case the fd is passed, the fd supports a string naming the fd or a number, for example:

-object iommufd,id=iommufd0,fd=22
-device vfio-pci,iommufd=iommufd0,fd=23

If the fd property is not passed, the fd is opened by QEMU.

If no iommufd object is passed to the vfio-pci device, iommufd is not used and the user gets the behavior based on the legacy VFIO container:

-device vfio-pci,host=0000:02:00.0

Supported platform

Supports x86, ARM and s390x currently.


Dirty page sync

Dirty page sync with iommufd backend is unsupported yet, live migration is disabled by default. But it can be force enabled like below, low efficient though.

-object iommufd,id=iommufd0
-device vfio-pci,host=0000:02:00.0,iommufd=iommufd0,enable-migration=on


PCI p2p DMA is unsupported as IOMMUFD doesn’t support mapping hardware PCI BAR region yet. Below warning shows for assigned PCI device, it’s not a bug.

qemu-system-x86_64: warning: IOMMU_IOAS_MAP failed: Bad address, PCI BAR?
qemu-system-x86_64: vfio_container_dma_map(0x560cb6cb1620, 0xe000000021000, 0x3000, 0x7f32ed55c000) = -14 (Bad address)

FD passing with mdev

vfio-pci device checks sysfsdev property to decide if backend is a mdev. If FD passing is used, there is no way to know that and the mdev is treated like a real PCI device. There is an error as below if user wants to enable RAM discarding for mdev.

qemu-system-x86_64: -device vfio-pci,iommufd=iommufd0,x-balloon-allowed=on,fd=9: vfio VFIO_FD9: x-balloon-allowed only potentially compatible with mdev devices

vfio-ap and vfio-ccw devices don’t have same issue as their backend devices are always mdev and RAM discarding is force enabled.