Hardware watchpoints on Cell/B.E. broken

Benjamin Herrenschmidt benh at kernel.crashing.org
Sat Nov 10 08:08:40 EST 2007

On Fri, 2007-11-09 at 19:54 +0100, Ulrich Weigand wrote:
> Hello,
> I've noticed that GDB hardware watchpoints do not work at all on Cell/B.E.
> (when running without hypervisor); the kernel accepts the PTRACE_SET_DEBUGREG
> call without error, but watchpoints never trigger.
> This turns out to be caused by a new hardware feature in the PowerPC 2.02
> architecture level: the DABRX register.  This register controls in which
> modes of operation (problem state, privileged state, hypervisor state)
> the DABR register takes effect.  (See Book III v 2.02 page 40.)
> The default setting of that register on Cell/B.E. (at least on IBM blades),
> which the Linux kernel currently never modifies, is to ignore DABR in all
> modes -- thus watchpoints do not work at all.
> The following hack sets the bit in the DABRX that enables the DABR for
> problem state, whenever the DABR is set.  With this patch on top of the
> current Fedora 8 update kernel (kernel- watchpoints work
> again -- all relevant test cases in the GDB test suite now pass.
> Obviously, the patch cannot be applied as-is; we need to make sure we are
> on a machine that supports the DABRX feature.  Arnd asked me to post this
> anyway as a heads-up on that problem ...

Hrm, ok, something we missed, I'll have a look. The whole DABR / debug
register handling need work anyway.


More information about the Linuxppc-dev mailing list