Re: Kexec, DMA, and SMP

From: Corey Minyard (
Date: Sat Feb 08 2003 - 15:18:34 EST

Eric W. Biederman wrote:

>Corey Minyard <> writes:
>>I saw that you are working on kexec. I'm using and have hacked on a similar
>>piece of software named bootimg (and I'll be glad when yours is done and ready
>>and we can jettison bootimg). From the looks of the code, it looks like you
>>have seen bootimg, too. I looked through your patch, and I noticed a few
>>things. Hopefully it's the newest version of the patch.
>>First was that you don't turn of DMA bus masters. There seemed to be some
>>discussion of this on lkml, but I didn't see anything in the patch for it. We
>>are actually having problems with bootimg and DMA bus master devices, so the
>>problem is real. And turning of DMA bus mastering for everything on the PCI bus
>>didn't seem to work, Ken Sumrall tried it, and at least the device in question
>>(a bcm5700) seemed to ignore the bit. We are looking at adding an ioctl or a
>>notifier list that will allow devices to register non-blocking calls to shut off
>>DMA. Is anything like that under consideration, or are you thinking of using
>>the reboot notifier for this, or what?
>The reboot notifier + device->shutdown(), are called. As you have noted
>the problem is not as easy as clearing the bus master bit, so I leave it
>up to the device driver. The device driver is responsible for placing
>the device into a quiescent state.
>Generally that code is present in the driver somewhere already, as it
>is needed for the rmmod case.
>In addition going through the normal shutdown path, downing interfaces
>etc, usually helps as well.
>So for when kexec is not used in a panic case this is easy.
The panic case is actually the most interesting for us. We are using
bootimg with the MCL coredump to take a kernel core to memory and pick
it up on the next boot. You cannot call most shutdown() functions from
a panic, since they will block.

>>The patch doesn't make sure it is running on processor zero for SMP machines.
>>You must do this on x86 machines, the kernel assumes it comes up on processor
>>zero. I assume this is true for other machines, too.
>I have a secondary patch. kexec-hwfixes, that does this. I am I need to review
>it a little closer and make certain the code is clean enough to go into
>the general purpose kernel. But I do have the code.
I have code that does this for bootimg, too, if you are interested, and
it has received extensive testing.

>>Hopefully I'm not looking at an old version of the patch, but these are
>>important things you need to handle.
>Yep. I am a little scatter brained on the maintenance side but I am handling
>them all.
>If you are after the kexec on panic case that is much, more
>interesting because it is quite possible we cannot afford to call some
>of those functions. But I am quite willing to discuss and work with
>people on what is really going on.
>For any more conversation though can we please cc linux-kernel?
>I like to keep things public so I don't have to answer the same
>question too many times.
No problem. As you have requested, lkml is copied.



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