Re: Serial related oops

From: Russell King
Date: Thu Feb 22 2007 - 12:04:24 EST

On Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 03:02:46PM +0000, Jose Goncalves wrote:
> It could be a silly question (tamper with me as I'm not familiar with
> such low level programming), but couldn't it be possible for a interrupt
> to hit in the middle of the serial_in() calls and mess with %ebx?

I'm no expert on x86, but if an interrupt was messing with %ebx, you'd
have random crashes verywhere - userspace, kernel space in unpredicatable

> What I find real hard to understand is why a hardware fault happens
> always in the same software instruction! I would expect a hardware fault
> to hit randomly...

Well, compared with your previous report, your latest report is different.
Your first report had both EIP and %ebx being zero (because they got
corrupted when returning from serial_in). This time only %ebx was

Consequently, this time we oopsed in the subsequent serial_in() rather
than trying to return to serial8250_startup() as last time.

> I left my application running this night, with a kernel
> unpatched on the serial driver (my last Oops report was with Frederik
> patch to remove the insertion made in 2.6.12) and it crashed again on
> exactly the same point!

>From that I take it that you removed the test in serial8250_startup which
sets UART_BUG_TXEN, and the problem persisted. That tends to suggest
that it's not the culpret.

> > For all we know, it could be a one-off fault on the hardware you
> > happen to have - other identical units may not behave the same (can
> > you check?)
> Yes I have other units that I can test it. I'll do that to see if it's
> really a one-off fault on the hardware.

Would be nice to know.

> If it continues to crash with other units I will then test with the
> msleep(10) before the "And clear the interrupt registers again for
> luck.", as you suggested earlier.
> > If it is a one off case, you are welcome to patch that test out in
> > your kernel build to remove the problem, and if it's an isolated case
> > I encourage you to do this. This is one of the great advantages of
> > open source - if you hit such a problem rather than throwing the
> > hardware away you can work around such issues.
> I didn't understand what you mean by "you are welcome to patch that test
> out in your kernel build to remove the problem". Which test are you
> talking about?

The one which sets UART_BUG_TXEN.

Russell King
Linux kernel 2.6 ARM Linux -
maintainer of:
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