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Date:	Thu, 3 Oct 2013 23:49:45 +0100
From:	Ben Hutchings <>
To:	Alexander Gordeev <>
CC:	<>,
	Bjorn Helgaas <>,
	"Ralf Baechle" <>,
	Michael Ellerman <>,
	Benjamin Herrenschmidt <>,
	Martin Schwidefsky <>,
	Ingo Molnar <>, Tejun Heo <>,
	Dan Williams <>,
	Andy King <>, Jon Mason <>,
	Matt Porter <>,
	<>, <>,
	<>, <>,
	<>, <>,
	<>, <>,
	<>, <>,
	<>, <>,
	Solarflare linux maintainers <>,
	"VMware, Inc." <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH RFC 00/77] Re-design MSI/MSI-X interrupts enablement

On Wed, 2013-10-02 at 12:48 +0200, Alexander Gordeev wrote:
> This series is against "next" branch in Bjorn's repo:
> git://
> Currently pci_enable_msi_block() and pci_enable_msix() interfaces
> return a error code in case of failure, 0 in case of success and a
> positive value which indicates the number of MSI-X/MSI interrupts
> that could have been allocated. The latter value should be passed
> to a repeated call to the interfaces until a failure or success:
> 	for (i = 0; i < FOO_DRIVER_MAXIMUM_NVEC; i++)
> 		adapter->msix_entries[i].entry = i;
> 	while (nvec >= FOO_DRIVER_MINIMUM_NVEC) {
> 		rc = pci_enable_msix(adapter->pdev,
> 				     adapter->msix_entries, nvec);
> 		if (rc > 0)
> 			nvec = rc;
> 		else
> 			return rc;
> 	}
> 	return -ENOSPC;
> This technique proved to be confusing and error-prone. Vast share
> of device drivers simply fail to follow the described guidelines.
> This update converts pci_enable_msix() and pci_enable_msi_block()
> interfaces to canonical kernel functions and makes them return a
> error code in case of failure or 0 in case of success.

I think this is fundamentally flawed: pci_msix_table_size() and
pci_get_msi_cap() can only report the limits of the *device* (which the
driver usually already knows), whereas MSI allocation can also be
constrained due to *global* limits on the number of distinct IRQs.

Currently pci_enable_msix() will report a positive value if it fails due
to the global limit.  Your patch 7 removes that.  pci_enable_msi_block()
unfortunately doesn't appear to do this.

It seems to me that a more useful interface would take a minimum and
maximum number of vectors from the driver.  This wouldn't allow the
driver to specify that it could only accept, say, any even number within
a certain range, but you could still leave the current functions
available for any driver that needs that.


Ben Hutchings, Staff Engineer, Solarflare
Not speaking for my employer; that's the marketing department's job.
They asked us to note that Solarflare product names are trademarked.

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