Re: [V6,1/9] elf: Add new powerpc specifc core note sections

From: Ulrich Weigand
Date: Fri Apr 10 2015 - 06:33:47 EST

Anshuman Khandual <khandual@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote on 10.04.2015

> I had posted a newer version [V7] of this patch series couple of months
> which got ignored while the discussion continued in this version.
> V7:

Ah, with all the back-and-forth on the checkpointed state, I never looked
at this. Unfortunately, there's still a number of issues with this, I

- You provide checkpointed FPR and VMX registers, but there doesn't seem
to be any way to get at the checkpointed *VSX* registers (i.e. the part
that is neither covered by FPR or VMX, corresponding to NT_PPC_VSX).

- We may have had this discussion in the past, but I still do not like the
notion of a "misc" register set, in particular since the three registers
in it are available at different architecture levels and categories.

I would much prefer three separate regsets (e.g. NT_PPC_DSCR, NT_PPC_PPR,
and NT_PPC_TAR), each of which is available and valid if and only if the
current processor actually has the register in question.

If we do have a single regset, at the very least a "get" operation should
set registers unvailable on the machine to a defined state (zero?)
instead of simply leaving memory uninitialized.

- Similarly, the NT_PPC_TM_SPR regset as currently defined mixes and
registers with different "lifetimes". The transactional memory registers
(TFHAR, TEXASR, TFIAR) are available *always* on machines that support
transactions. But the other registers in that regset are checkpointed
versions that are only available/valid within a transaction. I think a
better way to faithfully represent this would be to have the
regset only contain the transcational memory registers, and use separate
regsets for the checkpointed registers -- those should parallel the non-
checkpointed register regset.

For example, if we have NT_PPC_DSCR, there should be a NT_PPC_CDSCR for
the checkpointed version etc. (If we do stay with MISC, there should
be a CMISC).

- Particularly confusing to me is the "checkpointed original MSR" which
currently also resides in NT_PPC_TM_SPR. What exactly is this? How
does that differ from the MSR slot in the NT_PPC_TM_CGPR regset?

I may be misreading kernel code, but it seems the kernel does not
use the ckpt_regs.msr slot at all, and therefore the corresponding slot
the NT_PPC_TM_CGPR regset is likewise undefined/unused. Would it not be
more consistent to use that slot to pass the checkpointed MSR?

In any case, it seems the ptrace set-register case currently allows user
space to restore *any* arbitrary value into the checkpointed MSR, which
would presumably get restored into the real MSR at some point, unless I'm
missing something here. Do we not need a check that only safe bits are
modified, just like with ptrace access to the real MSR?


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