Hardware Protection Scheme

The paging unit uses a different protection scheme from the segmentation unit. While 80 x 86 processors allow four possible privilege levels to a segment, only two privilege levels are associated with pages and Page Tables, because privileges are controlled by the User/Supervisor flag mentioned in the earlier section Section 2.4.1. When this flag is 0, the page can be addressed only when the CPL is less than 3 (this means, for Linux, when the processor is in Kernel Mode). When the flag is 1, the page can always be addressed.

Furthermore, instead of the three types of access rights (Read, Write, and Execute) associated with segments, only two types of access rights (Read and Write) are associated with pages. If the Read/Write flag of a Page Directory or Page Table entry is equal to 0, the corresponding Page Table or page can only be read; otherwise it can be read and written.

Continue reading here: [2 As we shall see in the following chapters the 3 GB linear address space is an upper limit but a User Mode process is allowed to reference only a subset of it

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