Re: [PATCH v7 4/4] kexec_file: Load kernel at top of system RAM if required

From: Baoquan He
Date: Tue Jul 24 2018 - 22:21:35 EST

Hi Andrew,

On 07/19/18 at 12:44pm, Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:17:53 +0800 Baoquan He <bhe@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > As far as I can tell, the above is the whole reason for the patchset,
> > > yes? To avoid confusing users.
> >
> >
> > In fact, it's not just trying to avoid confusing users. Kexec loading
> > and kexec_file loading are just do the same thing in essence. Just we
> > need do kernel image verification on uefi system, have to port kexec
> > loading code to kernel.
> >
> > Kexec has been a formal feature in our distro, and customers owning
> > those kind of very large machine can make use of this feature to speed
> > up the reboot process. On uefi machine, the kexec_file loading will
> > search place to put kernel under 4G from top to down. As we know, the
> > 1st 4G space is DMA32 ZONE, dma, pci mmcfg, bios etc all try to consume
> > it. It may have possibility to not be able to find a usable space for
> > kernel/initrd. From the top down of the whole memory space, we don't
> > have this worry.
> >
> > And at the first post, I just posted below with AKASHI's
> > walk_system_ram_res_rev() version. Later you suggested to use
> > list_head to link child sibling of resource, see what the code change
> > looks like.
> >
> >
> > Then I posted v2
> >
> > Rob Herring mentioned that other components which has this tree struct
> > have planned to do the same thing, replacing the singly linked list with
> > list_head to link resource child sibling. Just quote Rob's words as
> > below. I think this could be another reason.
> >
> > ~~~~~ From Rob
> > The DT struct device_node also has the same tree structure with
> > parent, child, sibling pointers and converting to list_head had been
> > on the todo list for a while. ACPI also has some tree walking
> > functions (drivers/acpi/acpica/pstree.c). Perhaps there should be a
> > common tree struct and helpers defined either on top of list_head or a
> > ~~~~~
> > new struct if that saves some size.
> Please let's get all this into the changelogs?

Sorry for late reply because of some urgent customer hotplug issues.

I am rewriting all change logs, and cover letter. Then found I was wrong
about the 2nd reason. The current kexec_file_load calls
kexec_locate_mem_hole() to go through all system RAM region, if one
region is larger than the size of kernel or initrd, it will search a
position in that region from top to down. Since kexec will jump to 2nd
kernel and don't need to care the 1st kernel's data, we can always find
a usable space to load kexec kernel/initrd under 4G.

So the only reason for this patch is keeping consistent with kexec_load
and avoid confusion.

And since x86 5-level paging mode has been added, we have another issue
for top-down searching in the whole system RAM. That is we support
dynamic 4-level to 5-level changing. Namely a kernel compiled with
5-level support, we can add 'no5lvl' to force 4-level. Then jumping from
a 5-level kernel to 4-level kernel, e.g we load kernel at the top of
system RAM in 5-level paging mode which might be bigger than 64TB, then
try to jump to 4-level kernel with the upper limit of 64TB. For this
case, we need add limit for kexec kernel loading if in 5-level kernel.

All this mess makes me hesitate to choose a deligate method. Maybe I
should drop this patchset.

> > >
> > > Is that sufficient? Can we instead simplify their lives by providing
> > > better documentation or informative printks or better Kconfig text,
> > > etc?
> > >
> > > And who *are* the people who are performing this configuration? Random
> > > system administrators? Linux distro engineers? If the latter then
> > > they presumably aren't easily confused!
> >
> > Kexec was invented for kernel developer to speed up their kernel
> > rebooting. Now high end sever admin, kernel developer and QE are also
> > keen to use it to reboot large box for faster feature testing, bug
> > debugging. Kernel dev could know this well, about kernel loading
> > position, admin or QE might not be aware of it very well.
> >
> > >
> > > In other words, I'm trying to understand how much benefit this patchset
> > > will provide to our users as a whole.
> >
> > Understood. The list_head replacing patch truly involes too many code
> > changes, it's risky. I am willing to try any idea from reviewers, won't
> > persuit they have to be accepted finally. If don't have a try, we don't
> > know what it looks like, and what impact it may have. I am fine to take
> > AKASHI's simple version of walk_system_ram_res_rev() to lower risk, even
> > though it could be a little bit low efficient.
> The larger patch produces a better result. We can handle it ;)

For this issue, if we stop changing the kexec top down searching code,
I am not sure if we should post this replacing with list_head patches