Re: [Fastboot] Re: [BROKEN PATCH] kexec for ia64

From: Eric W. Biederman <>
Date: 2004-08-06 08:15:49
Grant Grundler <> writes:

> On Thu, Aug 05, 2004 at 12:56:00PM -0600, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> > Interesting.. One of the things we identified is that the kernel
> > that comes up in this scenario will need truly paranoid device
> > initialization code, so it can get the devices it chooses to use
> > functioning from any state.   For the IOMMU things don't look
> > differently.  The code will need to be tweaked so that it is
> > sufficiently paranoid. 
> Ok - but killing DMA would make this a NOP and prevents the
> offending IO card from spewing potentially corrupt data to 
> remote targets.

If you have the driver in your new kernel this should happen as it initializes.
So really this only applies to devices whose drivers you are in the kernel
invoked by the panic.
> > I'm not certain how receiving an unmapped DMA request should be
> > handled but there should be methods that are less drastic than
> > crashing the kernel.  Crashing the kernel only seems sane
> > during driver debugging.
> It's sane *any time*. Or would you rather have the IO device
> scribbling garbage on your root disk?
> I'd rather have the box go down with a higher chance that
> no corrupt data made it to media.

I agree with stopping the DMA.  I guess I keep thinking there are
cases you can potentially recover from.  What if you only
have a bad address because a transient bus error?
> > One suggestion and I believe that still applies is to have a delay
> > to allow existing in-flight DMA transfers to flush themselves.
> Maybe. But that's also non-deterministic depending on the type
> of IO device and how independent it is. Eg. RX rings on a NIC
> may only slowly fill - harmless if we don't ever handle the
> interrupts, look at the incoming data, or touch the IOMMU.
> TX Rings are more likely to be bounded to fairly short times
> before they are drained.

Right.  And since we know the RX won't stomp us and know
no more DMA is triggered.  This is why we are essentially safe.
> ...
> > It may also make sense to reserve a small portion of the IOMMU
> > for the recovery kernel and not use that chunk of the IOMMU
> > for the normal kernel.  That would allow valid DMA transactions
> > the recovery kernel initiated to be recognized.
> That's an interesting idea. I'm skepitical it's feasible though.
> I need to think about the trade offs here.
> And I'm still really very nervous about not shooting down inflight DMA.
> For clusters, this is especially important (prevent on-disk shared data
> from getting clobbered).

It is not avoiding shooting it down in general.  It is only not shooting
it down until we get into a known good kernel that we know is working
properly.  It's drivers need to be ``hardened'' so the initialization
code works in the perverse circumstances.

And we don't currently do device shutdown in the event of a panic
in any event.  All we do is call that could possibly do anything
is the panic notifier.

In the normal kexec case we will shutdown all of the devices cleanly.
But if you are already hosed...

In the cluster case unless you modify your minimal user space
to respond to the cluster watchdog, you machine will be fenced.

So I don't see that we are really introducing any new cases into the system.
> > Ok. It looks like the IOMMU case needs some more looking into.  But
> > I think we are on the right track.
> > 
> > Would a reserved chunk of the IOMMU address space work?  I know things
> > are scarce but we could probably deal with as little as 1M.
> Scarcity of IOMMU resource is the lesser of my worries. We no longer
> depend as much on IOMMU for IA64. parisc still fully depends on it
> as do some other less common arches.

Which is quite likely a good thing as it allows fencing of DMA accesses
from malfunctioning devices, or devices controlled by malfunctioning

The question is how do we recover from a malfunction....
Note the code we run does not have to be a linux kernel.  That is just
the primary target.

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Received on Thu Aug 5 18:25:42 2004

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