Re: [PATCH] r8152: Add support for setting MAC to system's Auxiliary MAC address

From: Pali RohÃr
Date: Thu Jun 02 2016 - 15:03:34 EST

On Thursday 02 June 2016 20:28:33 Mario_Limonciello@xxxxxxxx wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: BjÃrn Mork [mailto:bjorn@xxxxxxx]
> > Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2016 1:04 PM
> > To: Limonciello, Mario <Mario_Limonciello@xxxxxxxx>
> > Cc: gregkh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; hayeswang@xxxxxxxxxxx; linux-
> > kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; netdev@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; linux-
> > usb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; pali.rohar@xxxxxxxxx;
> > anthony.wong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: [PATCH] r8152: Add support
> > for setting MAC to system's Auxiliary MAC address
> >
> > <Mario_Limonciello@xxxxxxxx> writes:
> > >> > 2) Track whether this is the first or second USB NIC plugged
> > >> > in. Only
> >
> > offer it
> >
> > >> on the first NIC detected by r8152. When the second NIC is
> > >> plugged in
> >
> > don't
> >
> > >> match from ACPI.
> > >>
> > >> > There would be a question of what to do if the first NIC is
> > >> > removed and
> > >>
> > >> added back if it should get the persistent system MAC or not.
> > >>
> > >> > I'd say yes, just make sure that only one NIC can have it at a
> > >> > time.
> > >>
> > >> You are going to get things very complex very quickly if you try
> > >> to do this.
> > >
> > > It's really not that hard, track a module wide static variable
> > > whether the feature is in use. Track in each device whether the
> > > feature was in use. If it in use, don't assign the next device
> > > plugged in via the ACPI string. If a device is removed that has
> > > the feature activated, change the module wide static variable.
> >
> > Having the mac address jump around in an arbitrary way like this is
> > going to confuse the hell out of your users. Consider what happens
> > if the user docks a laptop with an r8152 usb dongle already
> > plugged in... How are you going to explain that the dock gets some
> > other mac address in this case? How are you going to explain the
> > difference between using an r8152 based dongle and some other
> > ethernet usb dongle with your systems?
> Yeah I understand the concern. I agree that would be very confusing
> to a user. This does need to match only on Dell docks then.
> > Make it behave consistently if you're going to add this. Which can
> > be done by specifically matching the Dell dock (doesn't it have an
> > unique Dell device ID?) and ignoring any other r8152 device. You
> > could also choose to set the same mac for all r8152 devices.
> > Which is fine, but will probably confuse many users.
> Unfortunately there is no Dell specific VID/PID. I checked a no-name
> dongle that used r8152 and it was the same (0bda:8153). Maybe Hayes
> Wang can check with his Windows driver colleagues if there was
> anything else to key off when this was implemented on the Windows
> Realtek driver. If there is something else to key off of, I'm not
> aware what it is. I'll check with some of my colleagues too.

I have some other questions which answers should we know:

1) Is that AUX MAC address implemented only in customized windows Dell
driver? Or also in "upstream" windows Realtek driver and all users of
Realtek hw can install it (or update via next driver update)?

2) Can you share pseudo code or description of algorithm which decide
MAC address for newly connected r8152 device on windows? This could help
us to decide if something similar/same cannot be implemented also on
linux (either in kernel or userspace). What I would like to know are
those situations when you connect more r8152 devices (some Dell and some

> I do have a way to query if a dock is plugged in via SMM, but I doubt
> that's what Realtek is using on the Windows side.

So there is some way to check if Dell dock is plugged, right? But what
happen if you connect Dell dock and also non-Dell r8152 device? Can you
distinguish which device is Dell and which non-Dell?

Anyway, I think that by SMM you mean dell smbios API call. Cannot you
guys in Dell release documentation of all smbios calls to community?
Time to time you release some small parts in libsmbios project which
then we can use for implementing useful parts in kernel (e.g. LED driver
for controlling keyboard backlight). But there are couple of
undocumented APIs and maybe some can also help with this problem...

> I'd leave that as
> a second to last resort (last resort being move back to userspace
> again).
> > What you definitely should not do is to change the mac for some
> > arbitrary "first" device. Then you are better off with the
> > userspace proposal where you and your users have some chance to
> > implement a sensible policy based on e.g. usb port numbers.
> OK, if I can't come up with a way to key on the device being a Dell
> dock I'll scrap this entirely kernel approach.

E.g. PCI devices have ordinary PCI device & vendor IDs, but have Dell
specific subsystem IDs. And via subsystem IDs we can distinguish between
Intel graphics card on Dell laptop and on non-Dell laptop.

Does not you have some special/modified firmware in those Dell realtek
docks (and ability to check from OS some registers)?

Pali RohÃr

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