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Date:	Thu, 11 Jan 2007 11:42:20 +0100
From:	Jarek Poplawski <>
To:	Thibaut VARENE <>
Cc:	Dale Farnsworth <>,,
Subject: [PATCH] Re: kernel BUG in eth_alloc_tx_desc_index at drivers/net/mv643xx_eth.c:1069!

On Wed, Jan 10, 2007 at 06:12:29PM +0100, Thibaut VARENE wrote:
> On 1/9/07, Thibaut VARENE <> wrote:
> >On 1/9/07, Dale Farnsworth <> wrote:
> >>
> >> Thank you Thibaut.  Please try the following patch:
> >>
> >> From: Dale Farnsworth <>
> >>
> >> Reserve one unused descriptor in the TX ring
> >> to facilitate testing for when the ring is full.
> >
> >Dale,
> >
> >tried it and unfortunately:
> Also, I don't know if you read that bit, but everytime I reboot the
> box immediately after a crash, the NIC gets a bogus (always the same
> it seems) MAC address, and I have to reboot one more time to get back
> to the "normal" MAC address.
> Dunno if that hints anything though.

There is something in the code about MAC writing and saving
some config during initialization, so probably it's possible
if reinitialization was broken.

I tried to look more into the code and here are my (maybe
wrong) conclusions:

- It looks like something could be broken during tx descs
freeing or eth_tx_timeout_task. I compared the timeout code
with e100 and tg3 and have a feeling mv643xx_eth is doing 
less but I'm not able to estimate the importance of this.

- Such errors, IMHO, could be possible with races and not
enough locking, and btw. I think suspected function isn't
properly locked: mp->tx_desc_count in while condition isn't
protected at all. Below I attach a patch proposal but I'm
not sure some irq off or spin_lock isn't also needed
elswere. If it's only locking it would be suitable to do
the test with a kernel compiled without PREEMPT and SMP,
but if irqs nothing should change... 

Jarek P.

PS: alas I didn't even check compiling - I had no time to
find all compile dependencies of this driver

Signed-off-by: Jarek Poplawski <>

diff -Nurp linux-2.6.20-rc4-/drivers/net/mv643xx_eth.c linux-2.6.20-rc4/drivers/net/mv643xx_eth.c
--- linux-2.6.20-rc4-/drivers/net/mv643xx_eth.c	2006-12-18 08:57:52.000000000 +0100
+++ linux-2.6.20-rc4/drivers/net/mv643xx_eth.c	2007-01-11 08:55:34.000000000 +0100
@@ -312,8 +312,8 @@ int mv643xx_eth_free_tx_descs(struct net
 	int count;
 	int released = 0;
+	spin_lock_irqsave(&mp->lock, flags);
 	while (mp->tx_desc_count > 0) {
-		spin_lock_irqsave(&mp->lock, flags);
 		tx_index = mp->tx_used_desc_q;
 		desc = &mp->p_tx_desc_area[tx_index];
 		cmd_sts = desc->cmd_sts;
@@ -348,8 +348,10 @@ int mv643xx_eth_free_tx_descs(struct net
 		released = 1;
+		spin_lock_irqsave(&mp->lock, flags);
+	spin_unlock_irqrestore(&mp->lock, flags);
 	return released;
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