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Date:	Fri, 23 Feb 2007 13:34:29 -0700
From:	Mark Huth <mhuth@...sta.com>
To:	Stephen Hemminger <shemminger@...ux-foundation.org>
Cc:	"Amit S. Kale" <amitkale@...syssoft.com>, netdev@...r.kernel.org,
	Sergei Shtylyov <sshtylyov@...mvista.com>,
	Mithlesh Thukral <mithlesh@...syssoft.com>,
	Vitaly Wool <vwool@...mvista.com>
Subject: Re: [Kgdb-bugreport] [PATCH 2.6.20-rc7] 8139too KGDBoE fix

Stephen Hemminger wrote:
> On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 11:10:40 -0700
> Mark Huth <mhuth@...sta.com> wrote:
>
>   
>> Amit S. Kale wrote:
>>     
>>> Hi Net Gurus,
>>>
>>> This thread came up on kgdb-bugreport mailing list. Could you please suggest 
>>> us what's the correct way of fixing this problem?
>>>
>>> 1. When running a kgdb on RTL8139 ethernet interface: 8139too driver prints 
>>> too many "Out-of-sync dirty pointer" messages on console and gdb can't 
>>> connect to kgdb stub. These messages can be suppressed, though it still 
>>> results in connection failures frequently. 
>>>   
>>>       
>> We think this comes from calling the driver while the queue is stopped.  
>> Drivers should not do horrible things when hard start is called with the 
>> queue stopped, but unfortunately, at this time, at least some drivers 
>> do  explode or complain under that condition.
>>     
>
> The kernel is built on a set of assumptions about calling context. Your
> out of tree code is violating one of them. Why not check for stopped queue
> and do some action to try and clear it, that is what netconsole does.
>   
Yes, of course.  This is just an incidental thing that happens because 
of the real problem, which is the use of CONFIG_NETPOL_TRAP in 
netif_stop/wake_queue routines.  Information about the necessity of that 
code would be appreciated.  Because when that option is selected, the 
queue management interface is squashed, leading to the situation where 
the device driver thinks the queue is stopped but the flag for that does 
not get changed.  Leading to the situation where device drivers either 
panic or complain.

AFAIK, NETPOLL_RX is not used at all, and NETPOLL_TRAP is only used in 
netdevice.h to turn off the transmit flow control/queue management 
function.  Netpoll already bypasses the actual queue, but it does try to 
honor the queue state.  However, KGDBOE breaks the queue state 
management by selecting NETPOLL_TRAP. 

This is not exactly out of tree code, because netpoll is the entity that 
calls the driver leading to errors and worse from the drivers.  And KGDB 
is from the community tree.  We're just trying to make it work, and the 
patches will be returned when we figure this out.  We're also trying to 
get this to work with the RT stuff, which creates another whole set of 
problems due to major semantic changes.  However it looks like the 
latest nepoll code should be okay wrt RT.

And I remain of the opinion that a device driver ought not panic or 
corrupt data, or anything else obnoxious given a hard_start call at the 
wrong time, but that's another battle for another day.
>>> 2. Here is how kgdb uses polling mechanism for communication to gdb.  kgdb 
>>> calls netpoll_set_trap(1) just before entering a loop where it communicates 
>>> to gdb. It calls netpoll_set_trap(0) after it is done and wants to resume a 
>>> kernel. The communication to gdb goes through netpoll_poll (which calls kgdb 
>>> rx_hook) and netpoll_send_udp functions.
>>>
>>> 3. A queue for an interface may have been stopped by it's driver by calling 
>>> netif_stop_queue. After this if kgdb attempts to enter communication with 
>>> gdb, it'll call netpoll_set_trap(1), after which the queue can't be started 
>>> again. This is a potential deadlock situation. Is there a way out of this?
>>>   
>>>       
>> We are trying without setting the CONFIG_NETPOLL_TRAP option.  This 
>> option is what turns off the function of the netif_stop/wake_queue 
>> calls, which breaks the usual flow control mechanism used by netpoll 
>> transmit function.  It also prevents the netif_schedule call, which will 
>> puts the device on the tx softirq queue.  However, in the case where 
>> interupts are off and scheduling is not allowed - which would be the 
>> netpoll_set_trap(1) condition, the softirq will not run until netpoll is 
>> done and the user of netpoll returns the system to normal operation.  So 
>> I am unclear that allowing the schedule is a problem.  There may be some 
>> obscure race conditions on smp, so we are trying to analyze that part, 
>> but for the moment are testing with the netif_schedule call allowed in 
>> the event of queuing the device.
>>     
>>> 4. Is it necessary to call netpoll_set_trap(1) at all before entering gdb 
>>> communication loop? Even if a driver stops the queue in middle of the 
>>> communication netpoll_poll and netpoll_send_udp calls can recover from that 
>>> by calling driver's interrupt and poll routines. Is this a valid statement?
>>>   
>>>       
>> netpoll_set_trap() is necessary, as it informs the netpoll code to 
>> respond to arp requests on behalf of the netpoll user, as well as making 
>> sure that skbs are freed without needing the completion queue stuff to 
>> run (I think)
>>     
>>> Thanks a lot.
>>> -Amit
>>>       
>
>
>   

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