[PATCH V4] powerpc/prom: Export device tree physical address via proc

Matthew McClintock msm at freescale.com
Fri Jul 16 04:58:30 EST 2010

On Thu, 2010-07-15 at 12:37 -0600, Grant Likely wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 12:03 PM, Matthew McClintock <msm at freescale.com> wrote:
> > On Thu, 2010-07-15 at 10:57 -0600, Grant Likely wrote:
> >> On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:39 AM, Matthew McClintock <msm at freescale.com> wrote:
> >> > On Thu, 2010-07-15 at 10:22 -0600, Grant Likely wrote:
> >> >> > Thanks for taking a look. My first thought was to just blow away all
> >> >> the
> >> >> > memreserve regions and start over. But, there are reserve regions
> >> >> for
> >> >> > other things that I might not want to blow away. For example, on
> >> >> mpc85xx
> >> >> > SMP systems we have an additional reserve region for our boot page.
> >> >>
> >> >> What is your starting point?  Where does the device tree (and
> >> >> memreserve list) come from
> >> >> that you're passing to kexec?  My first impression is that if you have
> >> >> to scrub the memreserve list, then the source being used to
> >> >> obtain the memreserves is either faulty or unsuitable to the task.
> >> >
> >> > I'm pulling the device tree passed in via u-boot and passing it to
> >> > kexec.
> >>
> >> How?  (what mechanism?)  I hope you're not using the debugfs
> >> flat-device-tree file.
> >
> > That is one way to get a good working copy. What is wrong with this
> > mechanism?
> It's unstable.  It is in the debugfs, so there are no guarantees that
> the ABI will remain the same.  Plus it doesn't reflect any changes
> that the kernel may make to the device tree.  That interface is *debug
> only*.  Do not use it.


> > Should we duplicate everything u-boot does in kexec to build up a flat
> > device tree? Or is there another way to get a good tree?
> That is one option.  U-Boot really shouldn't be modifying the tree
> very much anyway (I know on some platforms U-Boot is almost creating a
> tree from scratch, but that is insane and an entirely different
> discussion).  /proc/device-tree always gives the kernel's current view
> of the tree.  You can use dtc to extract it and write it into a dtb.

Ok wow, I've missed this completely. dtc to extract the device tree is a
very good option. I will pursue that line of thinking.

> > Ideally, we
> > don't make the end user manually edit a device tree.
> Of course not, any device tree manipulation is the job of the kexec
> tools.  None of this should be manual.  However, the data source is a
> significant and important question.

Ideally, we don't duplicate this in kexec and u-boot. Right now there is
nothing specific for say mpc85xx in kexec it's just ppc32. I would
prefer it stay this way.

> >> > It is the most complete device tree and requires the least amount
> >> > of fixup.
> >> >
> >> > I have to scrub two items, the ramdisk/initrd and the device tree
> >> > because upon kexec'ing the kernel we have the ability to pass in new
> >> > ramdisk/initrd and device tree. They can also live at different physical
> >> > addresses for the second reboot.
> >>
> >> This sounds like the model is backwards.  Rather than scrubbing items,
> >> the memreserve list should be built up from a known good source.
> >
> > You can build one up yourself and it will still work out fine. Or you
> > can pull one from debugfs to get yourself started. Or you can pull it
> > every time.
> What do you mean by "pull it every time"?

Exactly what you are saying is bad to do ;-P. Pull it from debugfs. But
the above "dts -I fs" solution practically fixes that issue.

> Out of curiosity, what is responsible for building up the memreserve
> list?  The userspace portion, or the kernel portion of kexec?  Or is
> it done by a totally separate program?

Currently, neither. I have submitted patches for the user space tool to
fixup the memreserve regions.

> >> > The initrd addresses are already exposed, so we can update/remove/reuse
> >> > that entry, we just need a way for kexec to determine the current device
> >> > tree address so it can replace the correct memreserve region for the
> >> > kexec'ing kernels' device tree.
> >> >
> >> > The whole problem comes from repeatedly kexec'ing, we need to make sure
> >> > we don't keep losing blobs of memory to reserve regions (so we can't
> >> > just blindly add). We also need to make sure we don't lose other
> >> > memreserve regions that might be important for other things (so we can't
> >> > just blow them all away).
> >>
> >> Right, so you need to have a known-good list of reserve sections.
> >> Trying to go the other way sounds very fragile.
> >>
> >
> > Yes. Where would we get a list of memreserve sections?
> I would say the list of reserves that are not under the control of
> Linux should be explicitly described in the device tree proper.  For
> instance, if you have a region that firmware depends on, then have a
> node for describing the firmware and a property stating the memory
> regions that it depends on.  The memreserve regions can be generated
> from that.

Ok, so we could traverse the tree node-by-bode for a
persistent-memreserve property and add them to the /memreserve/ list in
the kexec user space tools?

> > Should we export
> > the reserve sections instead of the device tree location?
> It shouldn't really be something that the kernel is explicitly
> exporting because it is a characteristic of the board design.  It is
> something that belongs in the tree-proper.  ie. when you extract the
> tree you have data telling what the region is, and why it is reserved.


> > We just need a
> > way to preserve what was there at boot to pass to the new kernel.
> Yet there is no differentiation between the board-dictated memory
> reserves and the things that U-Boot/Linux made an arbitrary decision
> on.  The solution should focus not on "can I throw this one away?" but
> rather "Is this one I should keep?"  :-)  A subtle difference, I know,
> but it changes the way you approach the solution.

Fair enough. I think the above solution will work nicely, and I can
start implementing something if you agree - if I interpreted your idea
correctly. Although it should not require any changes to the kernel


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