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The s390 DIAGNOSE call on KVM
KVM on s390 supports the DIAGNOSE call for making hypercalls, both for
native hypercalls and for selected hypercalls found on other s390
Note that bits are numbered as by the usual s390 convention (most significant
bit on the left).
General remarks
DIAGNOSE calls by the guest cause a mandatory intercept. This implies
all supported DIAGNOSE calls need to be handled by either KVM or its
All DIAGNOSE calls supported by KVM use the RS-a format::
| '83' | R1 | R3 | B2 | D2 |
0 8 12 16 20 31
The second-operand address (obtained by the base/displacement calculation)
is not used to address data. Instead, bits 48-63 of this address specify
the function code, and bits 0-47 are ignored.
The supported DIAGNOSE function codes vary by the userspace used. For
DIAGNOSE function codes not specific to KVM, please refer to the
documentation for the s390 hypervisors defining them.
DIAGNOSE function code 'X'500' - KVM virtio functions
If the function code specifies 0x500, various virtio-related functions
are performed.
General register 1 contains the virtio subfunction code. Supported
virtio subfunctions depend on KVM's userspace. Generally, userspace
provides either s390-virtio (subcodes 0-2) or virtio-ccw (subcode 3).
Upon completion of the DIAGNOSE instruction, general register 2 contains
the function's return code, which is either a return code or a subcode
specific value.
Subcode 0 - s390-virtio notification and early console printk
Handled by userspace.
Subcode 1 - s390-virtio reset
Handled by userspace.
Subcode 2 - s390-virtio set status
Handled by userspace.
Subcode 3 - virtio-ccw notification
Handled by either userspace or KVM (ioeventfd case).
General register 2 contains a subchannel-identification word denoting
the subchannel of the virtio-ccw proxy device to be notified.
General register 3 contains the number of the virtqueue to be notified.
General register 4 contains a 64bit identifier for KVM usage (the
kvm_io_bus cookie). If general register 4 does not contain a valid
identifier, it is ignored.
After completion of the DIAGNOSE call, general register 2 may contain
a 64bit identifier (in the kvm_io_bus cookie case), or a negative
error value, if an internal error occurred.
See also the virtio standard for a discussion of this hypercall.
DIAGNOSE function code 'X'501 - KVM breakpoint
If the function code specifies 0x501, breakpoint functions may be performed.
This function code is handled by userspace.
This diagnose function code has no subfunctions and uses no parameters.
DIAGNOSE function code 'X'9C - Voluntary Time Slice Yield
General register 1 contains the target CPU address.
In a guest of a hypervisor like LPAR, KVM or z/VM using shared host CPUs,
DIAGNOSE with function code 0x9c may improve system performance by
yielding the host CPU on which the guest CPU is running to be assigned
to another guest CPU, preferably the logical CPU containing the specified
target CPU.
DIAG 'X'9C forwarding
The guest may send a DIAGNOSE 0x9c in order to yield to a certain
other vcpu. An example is a Linux guest that tries to yield to the vcpu
that is currently holding a spinlock, but not running.
However, on the host the real cpu backing the vcpu may itself not be
Forwarding the DIAGNOSE 0x9c initially sent by the guest to yield to
the backing cpu will hopefully cause that cpu, and thus subsequently
the guest's vcpu, to be scheduled.
KVM kernel parameter allowing to specify the maximum number of DIAGNOSE
0x9c forwarding per second in the purpose of avoiding a DIAGNOSE 0x9c
forwarding storm.
A value of 0 turns the forwarding off.