Re: [RFC PATCH] watchdog: Add hook for kicking in kdump path
From: Don Zickus
Date: Wed Apr 10 2013 - 10:21:11 EST
On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 06:51:23AM -0700, Guenter Roeck wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 09:40:39AM -0400, Don Zickus wrote:
> > On Tue, Apr 09, 2013 at 09:07:58AM -0700, Guenter Roeck wrote:
> > > > > Just look for the use of mod_timer in the watchdog directory.
> > > >
> > > > So looking at the mod_timer logic in various drivers, it seems regardless
> > > > if the /dev/watchdog device is opened or not, if it is running, it will
> > > > automagically kick the watchdog.
> > > >
> > > yes
> > >
> > > > This seems that we can avoid pulling in userspace pieces for this. Just
> > > > load the driver and the hardware starts getting kicked.
> > > >
> > > Only if it is already running. Also, you don't want to rely on it, because you
> > > lose protection against user space issues.
> > IOW if something goes wrong with a runaway userspace app, the kernel
> > blindly continues to kick the watchdog, which masks the problem, right?
> That would be wrong if any of the drivers does that. The kernel should stop
> kicking after the software timeout expires.
> For example, if the HW needs to be kicked every second, and the high level
> timeout is set to one minute, the driver should keep kicking the hardware
> watchdog for one minute and then stop doing it if /dev/watchdog was opened
> and userspace is silent.
> > >
> > > A second use is if the hw watchdog needs to be pinged more often than user
> > > space can provide. Some of the HW watchdogs need a ping in one-second intervals
> > > or even faster.
> > >
> > > > Is that true? And if so, do all drivers detect if the hardware is already
> > > > running during their init? Or is it based on the first device open?
> > > >
> > > It is usually done in the probe function.
> > Ok. Thanks for the understanding of how the softdog stuff works.
> > However, we still have the problem that if the machine panics and we want
> > to jump into the kdump kernel, we need to 'kick' the watchdog one more
> > time. This provides us a sane sync point for determining how long we have
> > to load the watchdog driver in the second kernel before the hardware
> > reboots us. Otherwise the reboots are pretty random and nothing is
> > guaranteed.
> > Hence the need for some sort of patch resembling the one I posted.
> > Soooooooo, any thoughts about that patch and what changes I should make?
> > :-)
> The FIXME is a problem, and I think the name and scope would have to be
> more generic (watchdog_kick ?). Also, it doesn't solve the problem
> of having multiple open watchdogs (my system has three, for example),
> and it doesn't check if the watchdog is running.
Ok. I didn't know the watchdog subsystem well enough, so I just took
stabs in the dark about how things should work. I appreciate the
I could make the name more generic. I wasn't sure if the watchdog
community would frown on that. The FIXME is a problem, I am not sure how
to handle the 'fail' scenario (can't get the mutex with trylock). And I
have no idea how to even find out if multiple watchdogs are open on the
system. Is there a list I could walk? And with regard to 'watchdog is
running', I thought 'watchdog_active' would do that. But again, I could
be misreading the code.
Thanks for the feedback.
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