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SubjectRe: [microblaze-uclinux] Rethinking MicroBlaze commandline precedence

Stephen Neuendorffer wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
> [mailto:owner-microblaze-
>>] On Behalf Of Michal Simek
>> Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 2:26 AM
>> To:
>> Cc: John Linn; David DeBonis; Linux Kernel list
>> Subject: Re: [microblaze-uclinux] Rethinking MicroBlaze commandline
> precedence
>> Hi John,
>> John Williams wrote:
>>> Hi Michal,
>>> On Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 5:29 PM, Michal
> Simek<> wrote:
>>>> John Williams wrote:
>>>>> Currently, MicroBlaze commandline handling in order of lowest to
>>>>> highest priority, looks like this:
>>>>> 1. pointer in r5 from bootloader
>>>>> 2. CONFIG_CMDLINE=...
>>>>> 3. "chosen" section in DTS/DT
>>>>> I'm wondering if a cmdline in r5 should override the DTS. My
> thinking
>>>>> is based on two observations:
>>>>> (a) not everyone will use a bootloader like u-boot that can
> manipulate
>>>>> DTBs easily before kernel boot
>>>>> (b) a custom cmdline string in r5 allows the latest possible
> binding
>>>>> (runtime), where as the DTB is typically created at compile time.
>>>>> So, how about this order instead:
>>>>> 1. CONFIG_CMDLINE=...
>>>>> 2. "chosen" section in DTS/DT
>>>>> 3. pointer in r5 from bootloader
>>>>> Then, apart from CMDLINE_FORCE, the precedence goes from earliest
>>>>> binding (kernel build) to latest (runtime via bootloader/r5).
> This makes reasonable sense to me, although I wonder if the order is
> correct? For instance, in many cases a flow may be to fix the hardware
> DTS and then iteratively compile the kernel? Are all of these
> points/fallback priorities necessary? Personally, it seems like I want
> one 'compiled-in' source, and then the option to override at boot time.
> Could it be simplified by getting rid CONFIG_CMDLINE alltogether and
> just using the DTS, now that this we always have a device tree?

From my point of view that CONFIG_CMDLINE_FORCE make perfectly sense to be sure
that no one else change my command line.

>>>>> Thoughts?
>>>> I see there one big problem which can easily arise. Kernel expect
> that r5 points to
>>>> NULL string and DTS/DTB and CMDLINE will contain correct string.
> Kernel just copy it and use
>>>> it. There will be undefined behavior for more cases than for
> current handling. It will be
>>>> less error prune.
>>> This expectation currently exists anyway, giving precendence to DTS
>>> cmdline is only less error-prone on the assumption that it's more
>>> common.
>>> What about a move to an ARM-style ATAGs arrangement, where r5 points
>>> not to an ASCIIZ string but instead to some sort of loosely
> structured
>>> object, with tag codes to signify the commandline etc.
>>> That way, we can error check r5 - if it doesn't have the right tags
>>> then we don't use the (probably bogus) cmdline string?
>> Not sure if is help - but seems to me more complicated than we need.
> I would strongly discourage this, if only because the device tree also
> fulfills those requirements.

I didn't mean that device tree misses functions. I just say that is more complicated
to do that scheme which John described - nothing more nothing less.

>>>> Ad observation a)
>>>> My expectation is that users will use s.....I.... format (I don't
> like that name - What about
>>>> renaming it?) with dtb - they setup commandline at once and they
> don't change it.
>>> Ah what's wrong with simpleImage? It's simple to boot, and make-fu
>>> makes it simple to build! :)
>> It is more complicated than origin file. Your suggestion for simple
> build/boot is fine. :-)
>>>> Ad observation b) - for final product they will use only one
> command line. For testing you can
>> setup
>>>> kernel to use only r5.
>>> Or just remove the commandline section from DTS "chosen" part?
>> yes.
>>>> I understand that you are trying to pass to kernel for example MTD
> map which could be possible but
>>>> IMHO better to do this in script which one with sed
> erase/comment/setup command line in DTS before
>>>> compilation.
>>> It's still a very early binding, and I think there are plenty of
>>> reasons to want to override it at boot time. If there weren't, why
> do
>>> u-boot and PPC simpleBoot add the capability to tweak at boot time,
>>> the cmdline passed via the DTB?
>> I understand that make sense to change it - especially for
> development.
>> It should be possible to do it in u-boot. Not sure if is work to
> extend command line but maybe yes.
>> Worth to ask on u-boot mailing list.
> One way around this is to do what powerpc has: a simple bootloader with
> the capability to edit the cmdline on the terminal before boot. Then
> the question of 'does someone have a bootloader' is moot... they can
> always fall back on that one. This would also make microblaze arch more
> in the spirit of EPapr, which exactly tries to standardize all of these
> mechanisms.

NO. I understand that you like PowerPC and in many cases is PowerPC good
example but create next simple bootloader just for changing command line.
For final products is definitely useless. For developing we recommend you to use
IIRC on ppc you have to wait some sec to continue - this extend booting time.
I believe that we want to fast boot as is possible.

Do you have any link to that standard?


>>> Setting MAC addresses for example - you don't want to compile a new
>>> DTS for every board you ship, just to provide unique values. You
> just
>>> want to be able to tweak the cmdline in the config flash or
> whatever.
>> You should be able to change it in u-boot. The size of mac addr is the
> same. Shorten is possible too.
>> Cheers,
>> Michal
>>> Cheers,
>>> John
>> --
>> Michal Simek, Ing. (M.Eng)
>> PetaLogix - Linux Solutions for a Reconfigurable World
>> w: p: +61-7-30090663,+42-0-721842854 f:
> +61-7-30090663
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Michal Simek, Ing. (M.Eng)
PetaLogix - Linux Solutions for a Reconfigurable World
w: p: +61-7-30090663,+42-0-721842854 f: +61-7-30090663

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