Re: [PATCH v2 1/4] remoteproc: Introduce auto-boot flag

From: Suman Anna
Date: Fri Sep 16 2016 - 19:59:32 EST

Hi Bjorn,

On 09/08/2016 05:27 PM, Bjorn Andersson wrote:
> On Wed 31 Aug 11:27 PDT 2016, Suman Anna wrote:
>> Hi Bjorn,
>> On 08/11/2016 04:52 PM, Bjorn Andersson wrote:
>>> Introduce an "auto-boot" flag on rprocs to make it possible to flag
>>> remote processors without vdevs to automatically boot once the firmware
>>> is found.
>>> Preserve previous behavior of the wkup_m3 processor being explicitly
>>> booted by a consumer.
>>> Cc: Lee Jones <lee.jones@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>> Cc: Loic Pallardy <loic.pallardy@xxxxxx>
>>> Cc: Suman Anna <s-anna@xxxxxx>
>>> Signed-off-by: Bjorn Andersson <bjorn.andersson@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>> ---
>>> Changes since v1:
>>> - s/always_on/auto_boot/
>>> - Fixed double increment of "power" in recover path
>>> - Marked wkup_m3 to not auto_boot
>> I am seeing various issues with this series as I am testing this series
>> more thoroughly with various TI remoteproc drivers and IPC stacks based
>> on virtio devices. I use very simple firmware images that publishes the
>> rpmsg-client-sample devices, so that I can use the kernel
>> rpmsg_client_sample to test the communication.
> Thanks for bringing these up!
>> Here's a summary of the main issues:
>> 1. The rproc_boot holds a module reference count to the remoteproc
>> platform driver so that it cannot be removed when a remote processor is
>> booted. The previous architecture allowed virtio_rpmsg_bus or the
>> platform remoteproc driver to be installed independent of each other
>> with the boot actually getting triggered when the virtio_rpmsg_bus gets
>> probed in find_vqs. The boot now happens when just the platform
>> remoteproc driver is installed independent of virtio_rpmsg_bus and
>> results in holding self-reference counts. This makes it impossible to
>> remove the remoteproc platform module cleanly (we shouldn't be imposing
>> force remove), which means we can't stop the remoteprocs properly.
> I've always found the dependency on rpmsg awkward and don't like this
> behavior to depend on the firmware content, but rather on some sort of
> system configuration.
> That said, I did not intend to break the ability of shutting down and
> unloading the module.

The remoteproc infrastructure always allowed the boot to be done by an
external module (with vdevs, it looks intrinsic because of the
invocation in remoteproc_virtio.c, but the boot was really triggered
during virtio_rpmsg probe) and provided protection against removing the
remoteproc driver removal when you had a consumer. I tried the auto-boot
when I was upstreaming the wkup_m3_rproc driver and it was rejected for
exactly this reason.

> Calling rmmod on your rproc module is a rather explicit operation, do
> you know why there's a need to hold the module reference? Wouldn't it be
> cleaner to just shutdown the remoteproc as the module is being removed -
> which would include tearing down all children (rpmsg and others)

Right, the introduction of the auto-boot ended up in a self-holding
reference count which should be fixed to allow you to remove the module.
The external module boot is still a valid usage (when auto_boot is
false) though.

> I expect to be able to compile rpmsg into my kernel and still be able to
> unload my remoteproc module.
>> 2. The reversal of boot between virtio_rpmsg_bus and remoteproc core
>> also meant that the virtio devices and therefore the memory for vrings
>> are allocated at the time virtio_rpmsg_bus is probed in find_vqs(). The
>> remoteproc can be booted without the virtio_rpmsg_bus module installed.
>> We do use the allocated dma addresses of the vrings in the published
>> resource table, but now the remote processor is up even before these
>> values are filled in. I had to actually move up the rproc_alloc_vring
>> alongside rproc_parse_vring to have the communication up.
> This also means that for a piece of firmware that exposes more than one
> virtio device we would have the same race.

Yes, if you had more virtio devices technically. The remoteproc
infrastructure so far hadn't supported more than one vdev. We did
support that in our downstream kernel but that was for a non-SMP usage
on a dual-core remoteproc subsystem and the virtio devices were still
virtio_rpmsg devices, so it scaled for us when we removed the
virtio_rpmsg_bus module as long as the reference counts were managed in
rproc_boot and rproc_shutdown()

> As you say it makes more sense to allocate the vrings as we set up the
> other resources.
>> 3. The remoteproc platform driver cannot be removed previously when the
>> corresponding virtio devices are probed/configured properly and all the
>> communication flow w.r.t rpmsg channel publishing followed from the
>> remoteproc boot. These channels are child devices of the parent virtio
>> devices, and since the remoteproc boot/shutdown followed the virtio
>> device probe/removal lifecycle, the rpmsg channels life-cycle followed
>> that of the parent virtio device. My communication paths are now failing
>> if I remove the virtio_rpmsg_bus and insmod it again as the vrings and
>> vring buffers are configured again while the remoteproc is still
>> running. Also, since the remoteproc is not rebooted, the previously
>> published rpmsg channels are stale and they won't get recreated.
> So in essence this only worked because rmmod'ing the virtio_rpmsg_bus
> would shut down the remoteproc(?) What if the firmware exposed a
> VIRTIO_ID_NET and a VIRTIO_ID_RPMSG and you rmmod one of them?

Yes, it's a problem if firmware exposed different virtio devices, but
like I said above, it was not supported so far. It is definitely
something we should consider going forward. Also, I would think the
The rpmsg usage does provide a bus infrastructure allowing the remote
side to publish different rpmsg devices.

> The vrings are in use by the remote side, so allocating those with the
> other remoteproc resources makes more sense, as above.
> But virtio_rpmsg_bus needs to detach all buffers from the rings before
> going away, so we don't get any writes to those after releasing the dma
> allocation.

They do get detached alright from Linux-side but obviously you are now
creating an additional synchronization to the remoteproc side that they
cannot use these as you have freed up the memory.

> We will be sending out RPMSG_NS_DESTROY for some of the channels, but as
> far as I can tell from the rpmsg implementation there is no support in
> the protocol for your use case of dropping one end of the rpmsg channels
> without restarting the firmware and(/or?) vdevs.

Right, this also causes new synchronization problems when you reprobe
and the remoteproc side has to republish the channels. The existing
remoteproc infrastructure was designed around this fact - rpmsg channels
can come and go (if needed) from the remoteproc-side, and the flow is no
different from regular boot vs error recovery, and since they are tied
to their parent virtio_rpmsg device, removing the communication path
ensured that.

>> In summary, the current patches worked nicely in a error recovery
>> scenario but are not working properly with the various combinations of
>> module insertion/removal process.
> Thanks for your feedback Suman. I think we should definitely fix #1 and
> #2, but I'm uncertain to what extent #3 can be fixed.

The only solution I can think of is to reverse the module dependency as
well to follow the reversal of the boot dependency, so that
virtio_rpmsg_bus cannot be removed if you have a remoteproc supporting
virtio devices is booted and running once the virtio_rpmsg has probed. I
don't see any reasons to introduce new synchronization issues and force
the firmwares to change (having to republish channels) because of this
boot triggering reversal.

I am concerned on the impact as 4.9 is going to an LTS, with most of the
Si vendors using the LTS for their new software releases.