Re: [PATCH 2.5] fixes for airo.c

From: Daniel Ritz (
Date: Mon Jul 21 2003 - 16:01:39 EST

On Mon July 21 2003 21:44, Javier Achirica wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Jul 2003, Daniel Ritz wrote:
> > On Mon July 21 2003 13:00, Javier Achirica wrote:
> > >
> > > Daniel,
> > >
> > > Thank you for your patch. Some comments about it:
> > >
> > > - I'd rather fix whatever is broken in the current code than going back to
> > > spinlocks, as they increase latency and reduce concurrency. In any case,
> > > please check your code. I've seen a spinlock in the interrupt handler that
> > > may lock the system.
> >
> > but we need to protect from interrupts while accessing the card and waiting for
> > completion. semaphores don't protect you from that. spin_lock_irqsave does. the
> > spin_lock in the interrupt handler is there to protect from interrupts from
> > other processors in a SMP system (see Documentation/spinlocks.txt) and is btw.
> > a no-op on UP. and semaphores are quite heavy....
> Not really. You can still read the received packets from the card (as
> you're not issuing any command and are using the other BAP) while a
> command is in progress. There are some specific cases in which you need
> to have protection, and that cases are avoided with the down_trylock.

ok, i think i have to look closer...if the card can handle that then we don't need
to irq-protect all the areas i did protect...but i do think that those down_trylock and
then the schedule_work should be replaced by a simple spinlock_irq_save...

i look closer at it tomorrow.
you happen to have the tech spec lying aroung?

> AFAIK, interrupt serialization is assured by the interrupt handler, so you
> don't need to do that.
> > > - The fix for the transmit code you mention, is about fixing the returned
> > > value in case of error? If not, please explain it to me as I don't see any
> > > other changes.
> >
> > fixes:
> > - return values
> > - when to free the skb, when not
> > - disabling the queues
> > - netif_wake_queue called from the interrupt handler only (and on the right
> > net_device)
> > - i think the priv->xmit stuff and then the schedule_work is evil:
> > if you return 0 from the dev->hard_start_xmit then the network layer assumes
> > that the packet was kfree_skb()'ed (which does only frees the packet when the
> > refcount drops to zero.) this is the cause for the keventd killing, for sure!
> >
> > if you return 0 you already kfree_skb()'ed the packet. and that's it.
> This is where I have the biggest problems. As I've read in
> Documentation/networking/driver.txt, looks like the packet needs to be
> freed "soon", but doesn't require to be before returning 0 in
> hard_start_xmit. Did I get it wrong?

no, i got it wrong. but's the xmit where the oops comes from....

wait. isn't there a race in airo_do_xmit? at high xfer rates (when it oopses) the
queue can wake right after it is stopped in the down_trylock section. so you can
happen to loose an skb 'cos the write to priv->xmit is not protected at all and
there should be a check so that only one skb can be queue there. no?
(and then the irq-handler can wake the queue too)

ok, i think i got it now. i'll do a new patch tomorrow or so that tries:
- to fix the transmit not to oops
- to avoid disabling the irq's whenever possible
- using spinlocks instead of the heavier semaphores ('cos i think if it's done cleaner
  than i did it now, it's faster than the semas, and to make hch happy :)

> Thanks for your help,
> Javier Achirica


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