Re: [PATCH] console: allow to retain boot console via boot optionkeep_bootcon

From: Fabio M. Di Nitto
Date: Thu Jan 27 2011 - 09:35:40 EST

Hi all,

On 1/20/2011 7:09 AM, Fabio M. Di Nitto wrote:
> On 01/20/2011 01:19 AM, Andrew Morton wrote:
>> On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 09:40:24 +0100
>> "Fabio M. Di Nitto" <fabbione@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> From: Fabio M. Di Nitto <fdinitto@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>> On some architectures, the boot process involves de-registering the boot
>>> console (early boot), initialize drivers and then re-register the console.
>>> This mechanism introduces a window in which no printk can happen on the console
>>> and messages are buffered and then printed once the new console is available.
>>> If a kernel crashes during this window, all it's left on the boot console
>>> is "console [foo] enabled, bootconsole disabled" making debug of the crash
>>> rather 'interesting'.
>>> By adding "keep_bootcon" option, do not unregister the boot console, that
>>> will allow to printk everything that is happening up to the crash.
>>> The option is clearly meant only for debugging purposes as it introduces lots
>>> of duplicated info printed on console, but will make bug report from users
>>> easier as it doesn't require a kernel build just to figure out where we crash.
>> I don't get it, as usual.
> It might just be my itaglish explanation :)
>> The architecture does
>> a) deregister boot console
>> b) initialize drivers
>> c) register console
>> and the patch basically disables step a).
> Yes that is correct.
>> But if we can do that without screwing things up, why not simply change
>> the architecture to not deregister the boot console until after
>> initializing the drivers?
> I am not entirely sure if this is possible (or even worth it since this
> is a pure debugging option) and what kind of effects it might have on
> the boot output (in terms of duplicated entries on the output that might
> or might not make it more difficult to read). I am happy to investigate
> that and come back to you soon.

I have been looking into your suggestion and I think this is what
already happens.

According to kernel/print.k:

> /*
> * By unregistering the bootconsoles after we enable the real console
> * we get the "console xxx enabled" message on all the consoles -
> * boot consoles, real consoles, etc - this is to ensure that end
> * users know there might be something in the kernel's log buffer that
> * went to the bootconsole (that they do not see on the real console)
> */

but my understanding, and please correct if I am wrong, is that when we
load or initialize modules such as fbcon (I made this patch debugging a
crash in atyfb), a console is indeed registered and bootconsole disable,
while in reality the real console is not there yet (in my case fbcon was
loaded but not atyfb yet).
At a later stage, once atyfb is loaded, it registers with fbcon and then
the console output starts again.

Thanks again for your time

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