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Date:   Fri, 28 Aug 2020 14:05:32 -0700
From:   Xie He <>
To:     Krzysztof Hałasa <>
Cc:     "David S. Miller" <>,
        Jakub Kicinski <>,
        Linux Kernel Network Developers <>,
        LKML <>,
        Martin Schiller <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH net] drivers/net/wan/hdlc_cisco: Add hard_header_len

On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 3:37 AM Krzysztof Hałasa <> wrote:
> OTOH hdlc_setup_dev() initializes hard_header_len to 16,
> but in this case I guess 4 bytes are better.
> Acked-by: Krzysztof Halasa <>

Thank you, Krzysztof!

Actually I'm thinking about changing the default value of 16 in hdlc.c to 0.

I think a driver should always keep its hard_header_len consistent
with its header_ops functions. If a driver doesn't have header_ops,
its hard_header_len should be set to 0. This makes the driver able to
be correctly used with AF_PACKET sockets.

In net/packet/af_packet.c, in the function packet_snd, for
AF_PACKET/DGRAM sockets, it would reserve a headroom of
hard_header_len for the skb, and call dev_hard_header (which calls the
header_ops->create function) to fill in the headroom, but for
AF_PACKET/RAW sockets, it would not reserve the headroom of
hard_header_len, and will check (in function dev_validate_header)
whether the user has provided the header of length hard_header_len. So
I think hard_header_len should be kept consistent with header_ops to
make the driver able to work correctly with af_packet.c.

If the driver really needs to use additional header space outside of
the header_ops->create function, it should request that header space
in dev->needed_headroom instead of hard_header_len. This avoids the
complex header processing in af_packet.c but still gets the header
space reserved.

Currently for the 6 HDLC protocol drivers, hdlc_ppp sets
hard_header_len and the value is consistent with its header_ops,
hdlc_raw_eth sets both hard_header_len and header_ops correctly with
the ether_setup function, hdlc_x25 has been previously changed by me
to set hard_header_len to 0 because it doesn't have header_ops, and
this patch would make hdlc_cisco set its hard_header_len to the value
consistent with its header_ops. This leaves us hdlc_raw and hdlc_fr. I
see that both of these 2 drivers don't set hard_header_len when
attaching the protocol, so they will use the default value of 16. But
because both of these drivers don't have header_ops, I think their
hard_header_len should be set to 0. So I think maybe it's better to
change the default value in hdlc.c to 0 and let them take the default
value of 0.

What do you think?


Xie He

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