Re: 2.6.15-rt16: possible sound-related side-effect

From: Jonathan Woithe
Date: Wed Feb 15 2006 - 18:35:28 EST

Hi Steve

> > In the last week I have updated the kernel on our laptop to 2.6.15-rt16.
> > By and large this worked well and had the attractive side effect of making
> > the clock run at the correct speed once more.
> >
> > During development of an ALSA patch I had the need to remove and reinsert
> > the hda-intel and hda-codec modules on numerous occasions. Every so often
> > (perhaps once every 5 or 6 times on average) the initialisation sequence of
> > hda-intel would get hung up and the associated insmod would never return. A
> > reboot was required to clear the problem. The following messages were
> > written to syslog repeatedly and often:
> >
> > Feb 5 21:36:24: ALSA sound/pci/hda/hda_intel.c:511: azx_get_response timeout
> > Feb 5 21:36:26 halite last message repeated 9 times
> > Feb 5 21:36:29 halite kernel: printk: 31 messages suppressed.
> >
> > I have noticed the "azx_get_response timeout" messages in earlier kernels
> > as well, but up until now the hda initialisation hasn't gotten hung up.
> >
> > The latching up of the hda-intel initialisation does not appear to occur
> > when doing the same thing under a non-RT 2.6.15 kernel. Furthermore, I have
> > had an instance where the lockup occured while cold-booting an unmodified
> > 2.6.15-rt16, which rules out any changes I made to ALSA as the cause of the
> > problem. In any case the changes I was making to ALSA don't affect the
> > initialisation code.
> >
> > Prior to this kernel I was running an unmodified 2.6.14-rt21 kernel and
> > while these messages did occur they didn't cause hda-intel to lock up.
> >
> > Any suggestions as to what might be causing this and/or of further tests
> > which might help narrow down the cause?
> Could you turn on nmi_watchdog as well as softlockup_detect.
> nmi_watchedog:
> make sure CONFIG_X86_LOCAL_APIC is set, and then pass in the command
> line "nmi_watchdog=2 lapic" (lapic may or may not be needed, but should
> not hurt to include it).
> softlockup_detect:
> these may point out better what is locked up.

The NMI watchdog triggers only when the kernel as a whole locks up. That
isn't what's happening here. What is occuring is that the HDA side of
things is entering a seemingly endless loop, but the rest of the kernel
continues to function normally.

In any case, I did the above and booted with "nmi_watchdog=2 lapic". I
triggered the fault but neither the soft lockup nor NMI watchdog triggered,
which given the above was of no surprise.

The "azx_get_response timeout" is only produced by a single function:
azx_get_response() in hda_intel.c. This in turn seems to be called from
only one location - azx_codec_create() in hda_intel.c. azx_probe() calls
azx_codec_create() exactly once, and azx_probe() is the .probe method for
the PCI driver definition. Given that the above call chain in hda-intel.c
does not contain any loops, I conclude that the PCI code is repeatedly
calling the probe method due (presumedly) to the repeated timeouts. I can't
see how else azx_get_response() could be called repeatedly.

As mentioned in the original post, other kernels display the timeout
message. However, they do not loop endlessly and the driver load succeeds
(presumedly on the second attempt, since only one timeout message was ever
seen at a time). Applying rt16 to 2.6.15 seems to change something which
causes the endless timeouts. The condition doesn't exist all the time; once
it does exist however it persists until reboot. Note too that the condition
seems to only affect the HDA side of things - all other components of the
kernel appear to function correctly.

The machine in question is an i915-based laptop using PCI-express internally.

Any other suggestions as to tests which might narrow down the problem's cause?

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