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SubjectRe: loading firmware while usermodehelper disabled.
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> On Sun, Jan 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM, Alan Stern <stern@rowland.harvard.edu> wrote:
> > As Linus pointed out, the real problem here is the firmware loader.
> > The way it is now, a driver can't always depend on the data being
> > available, even during a normal boot. It ought to use an asynchronous
> > approach; then none of these problems would arise.
>
> WRONG.
>
> Alan, you're not getting it. Loading firmware as part of
> suspend/resume is WRONG.
>
> It would not be made any better by an asynchronous approach, and that
> isn't the problem with request_firmware().
>
> Suspend/resume is *special*, and it's special for a very simple
> reason: unlike bootup or attaching a new device, suspend/resume
> happens WHILE THE USER IS ACTIVE.
>
> Loading firmware at that time is wrong. It's impossible. You have to
> have the firmware available *before* any processes might need it, but
> at the same time actually loading the firmware may need help from user
> space and/or other devices. It's a chicken-and-egg problem.
>
> So let me repeat one more time: Loading firmware at resume time is a
> device driver bug. Seriously. How many times do I have to say it?
>
> And making it asynchronous doesn't make it *any* less of a bug. It
> doesn't change anything but timing, but the problem was never about
> timing in the first place! The problem was about dependencies. User
> space may well depend on the device, and *other* devices may well
> depend on the device working.
>
> So stop with the inanity. I've already told people what the fix is:
> make sure that the firmware image is in memory before the suspend ever
> happens, and just reload it from memory. NOT with
> "request_firmware()". Because requesting the firmware at resume time
> is buggy and wrong, and has nothing to do with "asynchronous" or
> "synchronous". It has everything to do with "it's buggy".
>
> Really really really.
>
> So the problem with request_firmware() has absolutely nothing to do
> with "asynchronous". The problem is that the firmware interfaces do
> not cache the data in memory, and currently *cannot* sanely cache the
> firmware data simply because the interface doesn't have any kind of
> lifetime rules.
>
> In other words: we could make "request_firmware()" cache *all*
> firmware images forever, but there is currently no way to say "ok, the
> device was unplugged - and not fakily so by a resume event, but for
> real, and physically - so now you can drop the cache". Which means
> that effectively request_firmware() can do no caching at all, because
> it might eventually just run out of memory.
>
> It is *possible* that we might tie the firmware lifetime rules to the
> driver module lifetime. But it would probably be much better if we
> made for an explicit model of "ok, the device is now really gone" so
> that it would work properly with compiled-in drivers etc too.
>
> And yes, the firmware would have to stay around even around a
> resume/suspend that causes unplug events over USB. The "use USB and
> lose power" actually happens also for built-in devices that may well
> be disks and network cards that are *needed* by user space, so even if
> the device has been electrically unplugged, it is still attached and
> needs to be brought back *before* user space comes back.
>
> That's the whole point of suspend/resume: we're not starting from a
> clean slate. We are supposed to continue as if nothing happened!
>
> Linus

FYI this is not only problem with USB, but with PCMCIA too for example.

M


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