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Date:   Tue, 12 Jan 2021 03:16:58 +0100
From:   William Roche <>
To:     Petr Mladek <>
Cc:     Sergey Senozhatsky <>,,
        John Ogness <>,
        Peter Zijlstra <>,
        Steven Rostedt <>,
        Andrew Morton <>,
        Thomas Gleixner <>,
        Borislav Petkov <>,
        William Roche <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v1] panic: push panic() messages to the console even from
 the MCE nmi handler

Thank you for your clarification, and let me explain what I was
talking about before providing my last code version.

 >>>>   	kmsg_dump(KMSG_DUMP_PANIC);
 >>>> +	panic_flush_to_console();
 > This is wrong. kmsg_dump() flushes the messages into the registered
 > dumpers, e.g. pstore. It handles only messages in the main
 > log buffer.
 > printk_safe_flush_on_panic() must be called before. It moves any
 > pending messages from the temporary per-CPU buffers into the main
 > log buffer so that they are visible for the dumpers.

Ok, this is very clear.

 >>> Why?
 >> Here, we are supposed to push the pending messages, as I could verify
 >> that they don't reach the console until the console_unblank(). So I
 >> wanted to push them with panic_flush_to_console() before the possible
 >> upcoming __crash_kexec() call.
 > I do not see how the ordering of printk_safe_flush_on_panic()
 > and kmsg_dump() would change anything for the upcoming
 > __crash_kexec() call.

I was wrong to remove the call to printk_safe_flush_on_panic() before
kmsg_dump() as it was in panic_flush_to_console().

The call panic_flush_to_console() idea here was to push any messages
that could have been submitted (even by any dumper) to the console
before the possible upcoming __crash_kexec() call. Otherwise they could
be discarded (if the crash messages can't be retrieved).

And that's the reason why I've changed this code in my previous version
to force a call to panic_flush_to_console() before the __crash_kexec().
Which seems to be too insecure as far as I understand it now.

In your previous email you also indicate:

 >>     . With the use of "crashkernel", a Fatal MCE injection shows 
only the
 >>     injection message
 >>     [   80.811708] mce: Machine check injector initialized
 >>     [   92.298755] mce: Triggering MCE exception on CPU 0
 >>     [   92.299362] Disabling lock debugging due to kernel taint
 >>     	No other messages is displayed and the system reboots immediately.
 > But you could find the messages in the crashdump. Aren't you?

Yes, but _only_ with the latest kexec-tools-2.0.21.git version !
[My installed kexec-tools.x86_64 2.0.20-34.0.4.el8_3 doesn't seem to
work, and I guess there is a separate problem that I will investigate

 > It works this way by "design". The idea is the following:

That's a rather disarming statement :)

I'm sure we can agree that getting the information directly (and of
course safely) from the running kernel console would be a better option,
instead of having a 2 steps process to get the crash reason (even when
it works) as it adds a risk not to get this crash reason at all. And I
know for a fact that Cloud people do want to know why a platform goes
away ;)

 > Taking any locks from NMI context might lead to a deadlock.
 > Re-initializing the locks might lead to deadlock as well
 > because of possible double unlock. Ignoring the locks might
 > lead to problems either.
 > A compromise is needed:
 > 1. crashdump disabled
 >    console_flush_on_panic() is called. It tries hard to get the
 >    messages on the console because it is the only chance.
 >    It does console_trylock(). It is called after
 >    bust_spinlocks(1) so that even the console-specific locks
 >    are taken only with trylock, see oops_in_progress.
 >    BTW: There are people that do not like this because there
 > 	is still a risk of a deadlock. Some code paths
 > 	take locks without checking oops_in_progress.
 > 	For these people, more reliable reboot is more
 > 	important because they want to have the system
 > 	back ASAP (cloud people).
 > 2. crashdump enabled:
 >   Only printk_safe_flush_on_panic() is called. It does the best effort
 >   to flush messages from the per-CPU buffers into the main log buffer
 >   so that they can be found easily in the core.
 >   It is pretty reliable. It should not be needed at all once the new
 >   lockless ringbuffer gets fully integrated,
 >   It does not try to flush the messages to the console. Getting
 >   the crash dump is more important than risking a deadlock with
 >   consoles.

Thanks again for the good clarification. I did not realize that calling
console_flush_on_panic(CONSOLE_FLUSH_PENDING) from panic() before our
__crash_kexec() was not safe enough.

So here is a new version of a (minimal) fix trying to follow your
(And you'll probably remove the added calls to
printk_safe_flush_on_panic() when integrating the new lockless

What do you think of this simplified possibility ?:
[If this fix is correct, I'll submit it as a v2 fix, with an updated 
comment and Notes]

--- kernel/panic.c	2021-01-11 20:33:25.268047057 -0500
*** 166,171 ****
--- 166,180 ----

+ /*
+  * Force flush messages to the console.
+  */
+ static void panic_flush_to_console(void)
+ {
+ 	printk_safe_flush_on_panic();
+ 	console_flush_on_panic(CONSOLE_FLUSH_PENDING);
+ }
    *	panic - halt the system
    *	@fmt: The text string to print
*** 284,291 ****
   	 * Bypass the panic_cpu check and call __crash_kexec directly.
! 	if (_crash_kexec_post_notifiers)

   #ifdef CONFIG_VT
--- 293,302 ----
   	 * Bypass the panic_cpu check and call __crash_kexec directly.
! 	if (_crash_kexec_post_notifiers) {
! 		printk_safe_flush_on_panic();
+ 	}

   #ifdef CONFIG_VT
*** 298,304 ****
   	 * buffer.  Try to acquire the lock then release it regardless of the
   	 * result.  The release will also print the buffers out.  Locks debug
   	 * should be disabled to avoid reporting bad unlock balance when
! 	 * panic() is not being callled from OOPS.
--- 309,315 ----
   	 * buffer.  Try to acquire the lock then release it regardless of the
   	 * result.  The release will also print the buffers out.  Locks debug
   	 * should be disabled to avoid reporting bad unlock balance when
! 	 * panic() is not being called from OOPS.
*** 314,319 ****
--- 325,331 ----
   		 * We can't use the "normal" timers since we just panicked.
   		pr_emerg("Rebooting in %d seconds..\n", panic_timeout);
+ 		panic_flush_to_console();

   		for (i = 0; i < panic_timeout * 1000; i += PANIC_TIMER_STEP) {
*** 347,352 ****
--- 359,365 ----
   	pr_emerg("---[ end Kernel panic - not syncing: %s ]---\n", buf);
+ 	panic_flush_to_console();

   	/* Do not scroll important messages printed above */
   	suppress_printk = 1;

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