Kernel Panic in 2.2.x

Hawkins Jeffrey-CJH016 Jeffrey.F.Hawkins at
Fri May 30 05:04:43 EST 2003

Request for Info/Feedbak....

With a Standard 2.2.17 Kernel, with some Proprietary Hardware Drivers,
we intermittently encounter a Kernel Panic due to Reference to a NULL
Pointer.  I have isolated the NULL Reference to the "procfs" Support.
In particular, in "array.c", the "get_stat" function, with usage
of the KSTK_EIP and KSTK_ESP Macros.  The NULL access is due to
the "regs" pointer in the "tss" structure being NULL.  My theory
is there is a race condition with procfs access and a process
terminating at the same time.  At the time of a our failure, a
Process is terminating (a Daemon Restart induced by our Application),
as well as,  one of our Application's is performing Raw Socket
I/O for Network Monitoring -- the strange thing is that if we
remove the Raw Socket Functionality we can not get the Failure
to occur.

I noticed in the 2.4.x Tree the KSTK_ Macros have been modified
to check for NULL. Does anybody know if this was the reason for
the change.  Looking at the Kernel List Archives, it seems the
change was for "init" issues in "BootX"?

Also, reviewing the Kernel List Archives, I noticed in 2.2.x
there was a race condition with "procfs" access, but related
to the MM Stats/Params of a Process, not the TSS Registers.

Anybody have any insight into this Issue?

Also, insight into how the tss->regs is utilized and updated
would be appreciated.  I have started reviewing the PPC Specific
Kernel Code to get this info on the Task Switching Implementation,
but I thought maybe someone here could give me some insight, or
direct me to a Book/URL/Reference that has this type of information.

With respect to responses, please don't say go to the 2.4.x Kernel
as a solution for the Issue....:)  This is in our plans, but at this time,
we are locked into the 2.2 Kernel due to Proprietary Hardware Driver
Support.  For the short term, I just want to identify the true root
cause (to appease the Management Gods), and to possibly implement
a short term fix until we migrate to the 2.4.x or 2.6 Kernel.


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