Re: highmem, aic7xxx, and vfat: too few segs for dma mapping

From: Steve Lord (
Date: Thu Dec 13 2001 - 15:10:20 EST

On Mon, 2001-12-10 at 13:50, Justin T. Gibbs wrote:
> >Ok I decided to try and trace this.
> ...
> > /*
> > * The sg_count may be larger than nseg if
> > * a transfer crosses a 32bit page.
> > */
> >
> >hmm, here it already starts to smell fishy...
> >
> > scb->sg_count = 0;
> > while(cur_seg < end_seg) {
> > bus_addr_t addr;
> > bus_size_t len;
> > int consumed;
> >
> > addr = sg_dma_address(cur_seg);
> > len = sg_dma_len(cur_seg);
> > consumed = ahc_linux_map_seg(ahc, scb, sg, addr, len);
> >
> >ahc_linux_map_seg checks if scb->sg_count gets bigger than AHC_NSEG, in
> >fact the test is
> >
> > if (scb->sg_count + 1 > AHC_NSEC)
> > panic()
> >
> >What am I missing here?? I see nothing preventing hitting this panic in
> >some circumstances.
> If you don't cross a 4GB boundary, this is the same as a static test
> that you never have more than AHC_NSEG segments.
> > if (scb->sg_count + 2 > AHC_NSEG)
> > panic()
> >
> >weee, we crossed a 4gb boundary and suddenly we have bigger problems
> >yet. Ok, so what I think the deal is here is that AHC_NSEG are two
> >different things to your driver and the mid layer.
> >
> >Am I missing something? It can't be this obvious.
> You will never cross a 4GB boundary on a machine with only 2GB of
> physical memory. This report and another I have received are for
> configurations with 2GB or less memory. This is not the cause of the
> problem. Further, after this code was written, David Miller made the
> comment that an I/O that crosses a 4GB boundary will never be generated
> for the exact same reason that this check is included in the aic7xxx
> driver - you can't cross a 4GB page in a single PCI DAC transaction.
> I should go verify that this is really the case in recent 2.4.X kernels.
> Saying that AHC_NSEG and the segment count exported to the mid-layer are
> too differnt things is true to some extent, but if the 4GB rule is not
> honored by the mid-layer implicitly, I would have to tell the mid-layer
> I can only handle half the number of segments I really can. This isn't
> good for the memory footprint of the driver. The test was added to
> protect against a situation that I don't believe can now happen in Linux.
> In truth, the solution to these kinds of problems is to export alignment,
> boundary, and range restrictions on memory mappings from the device
> driver to the layer creating the mappings. This is the only way to
> generically allow a device driver to export a true segment limit.

Another data point on this problem, In 2.5.1-pre11 running XFS I can now
hit this panic 100% of the time running bonnie++. And I do not have
HIGHMEM, I have 128M of memory.

It looks to me like request merging has got too efficient for its own

This is the scsi info printed at startup:

SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
scsi0 : Adaptec AIC7XXX EISA/VLB/PCI SCSI HBA DRIVER, Rev 6.2.4
        <Adaptec aic7896/97 Ultra2 SCSI adapter>
        aic7896/97: Ultra2 Wide Channel A, SCSI Id=7, 32/253 SCBs

scsi1 : Adaptec AIC7XXX EISA/VLB/PCI SCSI HBA DRIVER, Rev 6.2.4
        <Adaptec aic7896/97 Ultra2 SCSI adapter>
        aic7896/97: Ultra2 Wide Channel B, SCSI Id=7, 32/253 SCBs

  Vendor: SEAGATE Model: ST39175LW Rev: 0001
  Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
scsi0:A:1:0: Tagged Queuing enabled. Depth 253
Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 1, lun 0
(scsi0:A:1): 80.000MB/s transfers (40.000MHz, offset 15, 16bit)
SCSI device sda: 17783240 512-byte hdwr sectors (9105 MB)
 sda: sda1 sda2 sda3 sda4 < sda5 sda6 >

And this is the scb:
0xc7f945b0 c7f90040 c7f943dc 00000000 00000000 @.yG\CyG........
0xc7f945c0 c7f945f0 c7f5e000 c7fb0800 00000000 pEyG.`uG..{G....
0xc7f945d0 c7bd38c0 c7bd3900 c530c000 0530c008 @8=G.9=G.@0E.@0.
0xc7f945e0 00000080 c7f90140 c7f94478 00000000 ....@.yGxDyG....
0xc7f945f0 00000000 c7f94554 c7f58000 c7fb0800 ....TEyG..uG..{G
0xc7f94600 00004000 c7bd38a0 c7bd3900 c530c400 .@.. 8=G.9=G.D0E
0xc7f94610 0530c408 00000080 c7f90080 c7f94478 .D0.......yGxDyG
0xc7f94620 00000000 c7f9464c c7f94a00 c7f59c00 ....LFyG.JyG..uG

I have the system in a debugger and can look at memory for you
if you want.



Steve Lord voice: +1-651-683-3511 Principal Engineer, Filesystem Software email: - To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in the body of a message to More majordomo info at Please read the FAQ at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Dec 15 2001 - 21:00:27 EST