Re: [PATCH v2] mm/hotplug, x86: Disable ARCH_MEMORY_PROBE by default

From: Toshi Kani
Date: Wed Jul 24 2013 - 12:03:25 EST

On Wed, 2013-07-24 at 08:18 +0800, Hush Bensen wrote:
> On 07/24/2013 04:45 AM, Toshi Kani wrote:
> > On Tue, 2013-07-23 at 10:01 +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> >> * Toshi Kani <toshi.kani@xxxxxx> wrote:
> >>
> >>>> Could we please also fix it to never crash the kernel, even if stupid
> >>>> ranges are provided?
> >>> Yes, this probe interface can be enhanced to verify the firmware
> >>> information before adding a given memory address. However, such change
> >>> would interfere its test use of "fake" hotplug, which is only the known
> >>> use-case of this interface on x86.
> >> Not crashing the kernel is not a novel concept even for test interfaces...
> > Agreed.
> >
> >> Where does the possible crash come from - from using invalid RAM ranges,
> >> right? I.e. on x86 to fix the crash we need to check the RAM is present in
> >> the e820 maps, is marked RAM there, and is not already registered with the
> >> kernel, or so?
> > Yes, the crash comes from using invalid RAM ranges. How to check if the
> > RAM is present is different if the system supports hotplug or not.
> Could you explain different methods to check the RAM is present if the
> system supports hotplkug or not?

e820 and UEFI memory descriptor tables are the boot-time interfaces.
These interfaces are not required to reflect any run-time changes.

ACPI memory device objects can be used at both boot-time and run-time,
which reflect any run-time changes. But they are optional to implement.
They typically are not implemented unless the system supports hotplug.

> >>> In order to verify if a given memory address is enabled at run-time (as
> >>> opposed to boot-time), we need to check with ACPI memory device objects
> >>> on x86. However, system vendors tend to not implement memory device
> >>> objects unless their systems support memory hotplug. Dave Hansen is
> >>> using this interface for his testing as a way to fake a hotplug event on
> >>> a system that does not support memory hotplug.
> >> All vendors implement e820 maps for the memory present at boot time.
> > Yes for boot time. At run-time, e820 is not guaranteed to represent a
> > new memory added. Here is a quote from ACPI spec.
> >
> > ===
> > 15.1 INT 15H, E820H - Query System Address Map
> > :
> > The memory map conveyed by this interface is not required to reflect any
> > changes in available physical memory that have occurred after the BIOS
> > has initially passed control to the operating system. For example, if
> > memory is added dynamically, this interface is not required to reflect
> > the new system memory configuration.
> > ===
> >
> > By definition, the "probe" interface is used for the kernel to recognize
> > a new memory added at run-time. So, it should check ACPI memory device
> > objects (which represents run-time state) for the verification. On x86,
> > however, ACPI also sends a hotplug event to the kernel, which triggers
> > the kernel to recognize the new physical memory properly. Hence, users
> > do not need this "probe" interface.
> >
> >> How is the testing done by Dave Hansen? If it's done by booting with less
> >> RAM than available (via say the mem=1g boot parameter), and then
> >> hot-adding some of the missing RAM, then this could be made safe via the
> >> e820 maps and by consultig the physical memory maps (to avoid double
> >> registry), right?
> > If we focus on this test scenario on a system that does not support
> > hotplug, yes, I agree that we can check with e820 since it is safe to
> > assume that the system has no change after boot. IOW, it is unsafe to
> > check with e820 if the system supports hotplug, but there is no use in
> > this interface for testing if the system supports hotplug. So, this may
> > be a good idea.
> >
> > Dave, is this how you are testing? Do you always specify a valid memory
> > address for your testing?
> >
> >> How does the hotplug event based approach solve double adds? Relies on the
> >> hardware not sending a hot-add event twice for the same memory area or for
> >> an invalid memory area, or does it include fail-safes and double checks as
> >> well to avoid double adds and adding invalid memory? If yes then that
> >> could be utilized here as well.
> > In high-level, here is how ACPI memory hotplug works:
> >
> > 1. ACPI sends a hotplug event to a new ACPI memory device object that is
> > hot-added.
> > 2. The kernel is notified, and verifies if the new memory device object
> > has not been attached by any handler yet.
> > 3. The memory handler is called, and obtains a new memory range from the
> > ACPI memory device object.
> > 4. The memory handler calls add_memory() with the new address range.
> >
> > The above step 1-4 proceeds automatically within the kernel. No user
> > input (nor sysfs interface) is necessary. Step 2 prevents double adds
> > and step 3 gets a valid address range from the firmware directly. Step
> > 4 is basically the same as the "probe" interface, but with all the
> > verification up front, this step is safe.
> This is hot-added part, could you also explain how ACPI memory hotplug
> works for hot-remove?

Sure. Here is high-level.

1. ACPI sends a hotplug event to an ACPI memory device object that is
requested to hot-remove.
2. The kernel is notified, and verifies if the memory device object is
attached by a handler.
3. The memory handler is called (which is being attached), and obtains
its memory range.
4. The memory handler calls remove_memory() with the address range.
5. The kernel calls eject method of the ACPI memory device object.


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at