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SubjectRe: Using netconsole for debugging suspend/resume
Auke Kok wrote:
> netconsole should retry. There is no timeout programmed here since
> that might
> lose important information, and you rather want netconsole to survive
> an odd
> unplugged cable then to lose vital debugging information when the
> system is
> busy for instance. (losing link will cause the interface to be down
> and thus
> the queue to be stopped)
Well, the trouble is that it ends up spinning forever in the suspend
case. The driver's suspend routine has XOFFed the queue, and its never
going to come back if netconsole clogs everything up over it.

Perhaps the correct fix isn't at the netpoll level, but at the
netconsole level, but the behaviour of "suspend ethernet, netconsole
drops bits into the bucket until the ether comes back" seems to be the
best we can hope for.

The present behaviour is definitely bad, since it will prevent any
system from suspending while using netconsole, so you'd need to make it
modular and rmmod/modprobe it around the suspend event - definitely
losing more information.

Also it means that if you kick a cable, the machine will eventually lock
up, which doesn't seem like the best behaviour...

Even so, it will wait for 1 second per skb sent (20000 x 50uS) to wait
for the queue to be started, so it will be pretty slow, and will recover
from little hiccups without losing much.

> polling is for receives. We're basically telling the stack not to poll
> our
> interface anymore.
OK, I see.

> e1000_suspend saves the entire configuration of the device and puts it in
> Wake-on-Lan mode, allowing it to be waken up by your 'zap' in the
> proper way.
Not sure that's terribly useful. It would be nice to be able to zap the
ethernet to get a console dump from early stages, but talking to the
device depends on all the intermediate PCI stuff being set up first, so
netconsole could cause even more of a mess.
>> Then the e1000 would resume normally, including restarting the xmit
>> queue so that netconsole can start again immediately; any netconsole
>> output before the e1000 resume would be lost, of course (I guess it
>> could be buffered). That would suit me for now.
> after coming out of suspend, e1000_resume is called which basically
> reinitializes the entire device. In the entire sequence it is unlikely
> that
> you'll actually be able to maintain netconsole in the first boot stage
> - the
> network device will not be initialized by the kernel yet, and
> obviously will
> be useless until e1000_resume is called!
Yes, but I think that's OK for what I'm looking at. The problems I'm
seeing happen later, and as I said in the first mail, I'm willing to
accept a bletcherous hack if necessary (though obviously something clean
and mergable would be preferable).

At the netpoll level, assuming that netpoll_send_skb doesn't busywait
forever while the queue is XOFFed, it will toss things until the moment
the ethernet device queue is up, and then it will resume as normal.

> I'm not sure that tweaking e1000 to survive longer is the answer here,
> and you
> might be better off trying to have netconsole graciously wait
> (msleep_interruptable instead of udelay?)
Pretty sure netpoll can't sleep there...

> In any case, I see the biggest
> problem in the early boot stage when all nics are basically uninitialized
> until resume starts. You just can't assign it an IP address for
> instance that
> easy, and even resume causes the device to reset and thus link
> renegotiation,
> adding crucial seconds to the time that the link is down, in which
> time you're
> stacking up netconsole messages, or worse, fail to initialize netconsole
netconsole has already been initialized. It doesn't need reinit on resume.

> I hope this helps - I can't help but thinking that netconsole definately
> wasn't designed with this in mind.
Perhaps not, but it isn't far from being a useful tool in this case.
Its much better than the alternative of having no information at all
about the whole process.

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