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Date:   Mon, 28 Mar 2022 01:52:11 +0200
From:   Halil Pasic <>
To:     Linus Torvalds <>
Cc:     Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>,
        Robin Murphy <>,
        Christoph Hellwig <>,
        Maxime Bizon <>,
        Oleksandr Natalenko <>,
        Marek Szyprowski <>,
        Kalle Valo <>,
        "David S. Miller" <>,
        Jakub Kicinski <>,
        Paolo Abeni <>,
        Olha Cherevyk <>,
        iommu <>,
        linux-wireless <>,
        Netdev <>,
        Linux Kernel Mailing List <>,
        Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
        stable <>,
        Halil Pasic <>
Subject: Re: [REGRESSION] Recent swiotlb DMA_FROM_DEVICE fixes break
 ath9k-based AP

On Sat, 26 Mar 2022 22:21:03 -0700
Linus Torvalds <> wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 26, 2022 at 10:06 PM Linus Torvalds
> <> wrote:
> >
> > On Sat, Mar 26, 2022 at 8:49 PM Halil Pasic <> wrote:  
> > >
> > > I agree it CPU modified buffers *concurrently* with DMA can never work,
> > > and I believe the ownership model was conceived to prevent this
> > > situation.  
> >
> > But that just means that the "ownership" model is garbage, and cannot
> > handle this REAL LIFE situation.  
> Just to clarify: I obviously agree that the "both sides modify
> concurrently" obviously cannot work with bounce buffers.
> People still do want to do that, but they'll limit themselves to
> actual cache-coherent DMA when they do so (or do nasty uncached
> accesses but at least no bounce buffering).

Thanks for the explanation!

> But the "bounce ownership back and forth" model comes up empty when
> the CPU wants to read while the DMA is still going on. And that not
> only can work, but *has* worked.
> You could have a new "get me a non-ownership copy" operation of
> course, 

Yes, was
mostly about exploring that idea.

> but that hits the problem of "which existing drivers need it?"
> We have no idea, outside of ath9k.
> This is why I believe we have to keep the existing semantics in a way
> that keep ath9k - and any number of unknown other drivers - happy.

I agree.

> And then for the cases where you want to introduce the zeroing because
> you don't know how much data the DMA returned - those are the ones
> you'll have to mark some way.

I have no intention of pursuing this.  When fixing the information leak,
I happened to realize, that a somewhat similar situation can emerge when
mappings are reused. It seemed like an easy fix, so I asked the swiotlb
maintainers, and they agreed. It ain't my field of expertise, and the
drivers I'm interested in don't need this functionality.


>                   Linus

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