RFC-0185: Remove `zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu`

RFC-0185: Remove `zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu`
  • Virtualization

Remove the `zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu` syscall, which is no longer required.

Gerrit change
Date submitted (year-month-day)2022-08-19
Date reviewed (year-month-day)2022-08-19


Remove the zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu syscall, which is no longer required. The use case it was built for is no longer one that we want to support. Removing this syscall will allow us to simplify logic within the kernel and remove support for guest control of interrupts in the hypervisor.


We originally introduced zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu to allow us to bind a physical interrupt to a VCPU, such that the host would split and end-of-interrupt into two parts: a priority drop, and a deactivation. The host would continue to issue a priority drop, but the guest could then signal the interrupt deactiviation.

The goal was to allow a guest to control a physical interrupt for a physical device, in addition to virtual devices. However, this is something that we no longer require, and removal of the syscall and supporting infrastructure will allow us to simplify code and reduce ongoing maintenance.

We have already removed all uses of this syscall from user-space code, and the only remaining uses are in kernel unit tests.



  • leannogasawara@google.com


  • maniscalco@google.com
  • tjdetwiler@google.com
  • travisg@google.com
  • zarvox@google.com


To implement this, we will make the following changes:

  1. Remove C++ bindings from lib/zx/interrupt.h.
  2. Remove unit tests from core/interrupt/interrupt-test.cc.
  3. Remove the syscall from vdso/interrupt.fidl.
  4. Remove logic in the InterruptDispatcher and InterruptEventDispatcher.
  5. Reconfigure GICv2 and GICv3 to disable EOI-mode, and enable one-shot end-of-interrupts.
  6. Remove all support for physical interrupts from the ARM64 hypervisor.

These changes can be made in a handful of CLs.


This proposal may have a very minor impact on interrupt processing, where we can issue an end-of-interrupt in a single-shot operation. This means we do not have to deactivate an interrupt, separately from dropping priority.

Security considerations

This proposal has no impact on security. Arguably, removing this syscall may improve security, as it reduces the attack surface of the kernel by removing a syscall that is otherwise not scrutinised.

Privacy considerations

This proposal has no impact on privacy.


This proposal will require we remove all testing related to zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu from the tree, which at present is entirely contained within kernel unit tests.

Additionally, we should make the change to EOI-mode in a separately CL, so that in the unlikely event of a breakage, we can quickly revert the CL.


We will need to remove documentation related to zx_interrupt_bind_vcpu. At present, this is contained entirely within the syscall definitions.

Drawbacks, alternatives, and unknowns

One drawback is if we ever need device pass-through in the future, we may have to implement this or something similar. However, it's often better to prefer para-virtualized devices and avoid the complexity and maintenance costs associated with device pass-through.

Prior art and references