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SubjectRE: [PATCH 0/13 v7] PCI: Linux kernel SR-IOV support
> From: Zhao, Yu []
> Sent: 18 December 2008 02:14
> To: Fischer, Anna
> Cc: Jesse Barnes;; Chiang, Alexander;
> Helgaas, Bjorn;;;
>;;; linux-
> Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/13 v7] PCI: Linux kernel SR-IOV support
> Fischer, Anna wrote:
> > I have two minor comments on this topic.
> >
> > 1) Currently the PF driver is called before the kernel initializes
> VFs and
> > their resources, and the current API does not allow the PF driver to
> > detect that easily if the allocation of the VFs and their resources
> > has succeeded or not. It would be quite useful if the PF driver gets
> > notified when the VFs have been created successfully as it might have
> > to do further device-specific work *after* IOV has been enabled.
> If the VF allocation fails in the PCI layer, then the SR-IOV core will
> invokes the callback again to notify the PF driver with zero VF count.
> The PF driver does not have to concern about this even the PCI layer
> code fails (and actually it's very rare).

Yes, this is good.

> And I'm not sure why the PF driver wants to do further work *after* the
> VF is allocated. Does this mean PF driver have to set up some internal
> resources related to SR-IOV/VF? If yes, I suggest the PF driver do it
> before VF allocation. The design philosophy of SR-IOV/VF is that VF is
> treated as hot-plug device, which means it should be immediately usable
> by VF driver (e.g. VF driver is pre-loaded) after it appears in the PCI
> subsystem. If that is not the purpose, then PF driver should handle it
> not depending on the SR-IOV, right?

Yes, you are right. In fact I was assuming in this case that the PF driver
might have to allocate VF specific resources before a PF <-> VF
communication can be established but this can be done before the VF PCI
device appears, so I was wrong with this. The current API is sufficient
to handle all of this, so I am withdrawing my concern here ;-)

> If you could elaborate your SR-IOV PF/VF h/w specific requirement, it
> would be help for me to answer this question :-)
> > 2) Configuration of SR-IOV: the current API allows to enable/disable
> > VFs from userspace via SYSFS. At the moment I am not quite clear what
> > exactly is supposed to control these capabilities. This could be
> > Linux tools or, on a virtualized system, hypervisor control tools.
> This depends on user application, you know, which depends on the usage
> environment (i.e. native, KVM or Xen).
> > One thing I am missing though is an in-kernel API for this which I
> > think might be useful. After all the PF driver controls the device,
> > and, for example, when a device error occurs (e.g. a hardware failure
> > which only the PF driver will be able to detect, not Linux), then the
> > PF driver might have to de-allocate all resources, shut down VFs and
> > reset the device, or something like that. In that case the PF driver
> > needs to have a way to notify the Linux SR-IOV code about this and
> > initiate cleaning up of VFs and their resources. At the moment, this
> > would have to go through userspace, I believe, and I think that is
> not
> > an optimal solution. Yu, do you have an opinion on how this would be
> > realized?
> Yes, the PF driver can use pci_iov_unregister to disable SR-IOV in case
> the fatal error occurs. This function also sends notification to user
> level through 'uevent' so user application can aware the change.

If pci_iov_unregister is accessible for kernel drivers than this is in fact
all we need. Thanks for the clarification.

I think the patchset looks very good.

Acked-by: Anna Fischer <>

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