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Date:   Fri, 29 Mar 2019 11:53:03 -0700
From:   Florian Fainelli <>
To:     Jakub Kicinski <>,
        Jiri Pirko <>
Cc:     Michal Kubecek <>,
        David Miller <>,,
        Andrew Lunn <>,
        John Linville <>,
        Stephen Hemminger <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH net-next v5 13/22] ethtool: provide driver/device
 information in GET_INFO request

On 3/28/19 1:09 PM, Jakub Kicinski wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Mar 2019 17:34:39 +0100, Jiri Pirko wrote:
>> Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 10:53:47AM CET, wrote:
>>> On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 10:21:26AM +0100, Jiri Pirko wrote:  
>>>> Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 11:25:54PM CET, wrote:  
>>>>> I'm all for implementing new features which are are related to physical
>>>>> device (ASIC) rather than network interface only in devlink (at the
>>>>> level of kernel-userspace interface). But for features already provided
>>>>> by ethtool (userspace utility) I can't help seeing the state of devlink
>>>>> support in NIC drivers as a serious blocker.  
>>>> What I'm thinking about at for some time now would be en explicit
>>>> default devlink and devlink_port registration for every netdev for
>>>> drivers that does not support devlink themselves. I need to think about
>>>> it more, but it seems doable. Then we can hang appropriate things there
>>>> and make the ethtoolnl/devlink separation clear. I believe we need to do
>>>> it.  
>>> That sounds great, such "generic devlink" implementation would be a way
>>> around. Kernel could then emulate features which are not implemented by
>>> an actual devlink handler (i.e. "generic devlink" is used or particular
>>> handler is missing) by falling back to ethtool_ops handler so that
>>> userspace could rely on devlink API for things like device information,
>>> various dumps, flashing etc. without losing anything.  
>> Yep. Plan to do that next week.
> The problem with the main part of dev info - fw_version - is that it is
> often overloaded in drivers and becomes impossible to parse for users.
> I'd rather we didn't dump that nasty chaos in devlink info and let it
> die with ethtool IOCTL.
> Flashing can also be handled at user space tool level.

Yes, I really like how sfc does it which is to expose MTD devices and
certainly have a custom flashing tool, that should be the way to go IMHO.

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