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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2.6.24] mm: BadRAM support for broken memory
On Sun, 2 Mar 2008 13:42:21 +0000 Rick van Rein wrote:
> This is the latest version of the BadRAM patch, which makes it possible to
> run Linux on broken memory. The patch supports the use of a lesser grade
> of memory, which could be marketed more cheaply and which would thereby
> decrease the environmental stress caused by the process of (memory) chip
> manufacturing.

Patch needs to be made against (i.e., applyable against) the latest
linus-mainline kernel, not a few-weeks old kernel.
Of course, you could be lucky and it applies to either one.

> diff -pruN linux-2.6.24.orig/Documentation/badram.txt linux-2.6.24/Documentation/badram.txt
> --- linux-2.6.24.orig/Documentation/badram.txt 1969-12-31 19:00:00.000000000 -0500
> +++ linux-2.6.24/Documentation/badram.txt 2008-02-05 23:29:49.000000000 -0500
> @@ -0,0 +1,275 @@
> +INFORMATION ON USING BAD RAM MODULES
> +====================================
> +
> +
> +Initial checks
> + If you experience RAM trouble, first read /usr/src/linux/memory.txt

Incorrect path. Insert "Documentation/". But we usually don't include
the full path (i.e., drop "/usr/src/linux" or say
"read Documentation/memory.txt in the kernel source tree".

> + and try out the mem=4M trick to see if at least some initial parts
> + of your RAM work well. The BadRAM routines halt the kernel in panic
> + if the reserved area of memory (containing kernel stuff) contains
> + a faulty address.
> +
> +Running a RAM checker
> + The memory checker is not built into the kernel, to avoid delays at
> + runtime. If you experience problems that may be caused by RAM, run
> + a good RAM checker, such as
> + http://reality.sgi.com/cbrady_denver/memtest86
> + The output of a RAM checker provides addresses that went wrong. In
> + the 32 MB chip with 512 faulty bits mentioned above, the errors were
> + found in the 8MB-16MB range (the DIMM was in slot #0) at addresses
> + xxx42f4
> + xxx62f4
> + xxxc2f4
> + xxxe2f4
> + and the error was a "sticky 1 bit", a memory bit that stayed "1" no
> + matter what was written to it. The regularity of this pattern
> + suggests the death of a buffer at the output stages of a row on one of
> + the chips. I expect such regularity to be commonplace. Finding this
> + regularity currently is human effort, but it should not be hard to
> + alter a RAM checker to capture it in some sort of pattern, possibly
> + the BadRAM patterns described below.
> +
> + By the way, if you manage to get hold of memtest86 version 2.3 or
> + beyond, you can configure the printing mode to produce BadRAM patterns,
> + which find out exactly what you must enter on the LILO: commandline,

Drop ":".

> + except that you shouldn't mention the added spacing. That means that
> + you can skip the following step, which saves you a *lot* of work.
> +
> + Also by the way, if your machine has the ISA memory gap in the 15M-16M
> + range unstoppable, Linux can get in trouble. One way of handling that
> + situation is by specifying the total memory size to Linux with a boot
> + parameter mem=... and then to tell it to treat the 15M-16M range as
> + faulty with an additional boot parameter, for instance:
> + mem=24M badram=0x00f00000,0xfff00000
> + if you installed 24MB of RAM in total.
> +
> +
> +Capturing errors in a pattern
> + Instead of manually providing all 512 errors to the kernel, it's nicer
> + to generate a pattern. Since the regularity is based on address decoding
> + software, which generally takes certain bits into account and ignores
> + others, we shall provide a faulty address F, together with a bit mask M
> + that specifies which bits must be equal to F. In C code, an address A
> + is faulty if and only if
> + (F & M) == (A & M)
> + or alternately (closer to a hardware implementation):
> + ~((F ^ A) & M)
> + In the example 32 MB chip, we had the faulty addresses in 8MB-16MB:
> + xxx42f4 ....0100....
> + xxx62f4 ....0110....
> + xxxc2f4 ....1100....
> + xxxe2f4 ....1110....
> + The second column represents the alternating hex digit in binary form.
> + Apperantly, the first and one-but last binary digit can be anything,

Apparently
s/one-but last/next to last/ ?

> + so the binary mask for that part is 0101. The mask for the part after
> + this is 0xfff, and the part before should select anything in the range
> + 8MB-16MB, or 0x00800000-0x01000000; this is done with a bitmask
> + 0xff80xxxx. Combining these partial masks, we get:
> + F=0x008042f4 M=0xff805fff
> + That covers everything for this DIMM; for more complicated failing
> + DIMMs, or for a combination of multiple failing DIMMs, it can be
> + necessary to set up a number of such F/M pairs.
> +
> +Rebooting Linux
> + Now that these patterns are known (and double-checked, the calculations
> + are highly error-prone... it would be neat to test them in the RAM
> + checker...) we simply restart Linux with these F/M pairs as a parameter

End above sentence with period (".").

> + If you normally boot as follows:
> + LILO: linux
> + you should now boot with
> + LILO: linux badram=0x008042f4,0xff805fff

Does the choice of bootloader matter?

> + or perhaps by mentioning more F/M pairs in an order F0,M0,F1,M1,...
> + When you provide an odd number of arguments to badram, the default mask
> + 0xffffffff (only one address matched) is applied to the pattern.
> +
> + Beware of the commandline length. At least up to LILO version 0.21,
> + the commandline is cut off after the 78th character; later versions
> + may go as far as the kernel goes, namely 255 characters. In no way is
> + it possible to enter more than 10 numbers to the badram boot option.

x86 command line length is now 2048.
I don't know if bootloaders can handle that.

> + When the kernel now boots, it should not give any trouble with RAM.
> + Mind you, this is under the assumption that the kernel and its data
> + storage do not overlap an erroneous part. If this happens, and the
> + kernel does not choke on it right away, it will stop with a panic.
> + You will need to provide a RAM where the initial, say 2MB, is faultless

End with period (".").

> +
> + Now look up your memory status with
> + dmesg | grep ^Memory:
> + which prints a single line with information like
> + Memory: 158524k/163840k available
> + (940k kernel code,
> + 412k reserved,
> + 1856k data,
> + 60k init,
> + 0k highmem,
> + 2048k BadRAM)

> +Known Bugs
> + LILO is known to cut off commandlines which are too long. For the
> + lilo-0.21 distribution, a commandline may not exceed 78 characters,
> + while actually, 255 would be possible [on x86, kernel 2.2.16].

Ancient kernel alert.

> + LILO does _not_ report too-long commandlines, but the error will
> + show up as either a panic at boot time, stating
> + panic: BadRAM page in initial area
> + or the dmesg line starting with Memory: will mention an unpredicted
> + number of kilobytes. (Note that the latter number only includes
> + errors in accessed memory.)
> +
> +Future Possibilities
> + It would be possible to use even more of the faulty RAMs by employing
> + them for slabs. The smaller allocation granularity of slabs makes it
> + possible to throw out just, say, 32 bytes surrounding an error. This
> + would mean that the example DIMM only looses 16kB instead of 2MB.

loses

> + It might even be possible to allocate the slabs in such a way that,
> + where possible, the remaining bytes in a slab structure are allocated
> + around the error, reducing the RAM loss to 0 in the optimal situation!
> +
> + However, this yield is somewhat faked: It is possible to provide 512
> + pages of 32-byte slabs, but it is not certain that anyone would use
> + that many 32-byte slabs at any time.
> +
> + A better solution might be to alter the page allocation for a slab to
> + have a preference for BadRAM pages, and given those a special treatment.
> + This way, the BadRAM would be spread over all the slabs, which seems
> + more likely to be a `true' pay-off. This would yield more overhead at
> + slab allocation time, but on the other hand, by the nature of slabs,
> + such allocations are made as rare as possible, so it might not matter
> + that much. I am uncertain where to go.
> +
> + Many suggestions have been made to insert a RAM checker at boot time;
> + since this would leave the time to do only very meager checking, it
> + is not a reasonable option; we already have a BIOS doing that in most
> + systems!
> +
> + It would be interesting to integrate this functionality with the
> + self-verifying nature of ECC RAM. These memories can even distinguish
> + between recorable and unrecoverable errors! Such memory has been

recoverable

> + handled in older operating systems by `testing' once-failed memory
> + blocks for a while, by placing only (reloadable) program code in it.
> + Unfortunately, I possess no faulty ECC modules to work this out.
> +

> diff -pruN linux-2.6.24.orig/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt linux-2.6.24/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt
> --- linux-2.6.24.orig/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt 2008-01-24 17:58:37.000000000 -0500
> +++ linux-2.6.24/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt 2008-02-05 23:33:55.000000000 -0500
> @@ -322,6 +323,8 @@ and is between 256 and 4096 characters.
>
> autotest [IA64]
>
> + badram= [BADRAM] Avoid allocating faulty RAM addresses.

See Documentation/badram.txt for parameter details.

> +
> baycom_epp= [HW,AX25]
> Format: <io>,<mode>
>
> diff -pruN linux-2.6.24.orig/Documentation/memory.txt linux-2.6.24/Documentation/memory.txt
> --- linux-2.6.24.orig/Documentation/memory.txt 2008-01-24 17:58:37.000000000 -0500
> +++ linux-2.6.24/Documentation/memory.txt 2008-02-05 23:39:04.000000000 -0500
> @@ -18,11 +18,22 @@ systems.
> as you add more memory. Consider exchanging your
> motherboard.
>
> + 4) A static discharge or production fault causes a RAM module
> + to have (predictable) errors, usually meaning that certain
> + bits cannot be set or reset. Instead of throwing away your
> + RAM module, you may read /usr/src/linux/Documentation/badram.txt
> + to learn how to detect, locate and circuimvent such errors

circumvent

> + in your RAM module.
> +
> +
> diff -pruN linux-2.6.24.orig/include/asm-x86/page_32.h linux-2.6.24/include/asm-x86/page_32.h
> --- linux-2.6.24.orig/include/asm-x86/page_32.h 2008-01-24 17:58:37.000000000 -0500
> +++ linux-2.6.24/include/asm-x86/page_32.h 2008-02-05 23:43:00.000000000 -0500
> @@ -189,6 +189,7 @@ extern int page_is_ram(unsigned long pag
> #define pfn_valid(pfn) ((pfn) < max_mapnr)
> #endif /* CONFIG_FLATMEM */
> #define virt_to_page(kaddr) pfn_to_page(__pa(kaddr) >> PAGE_SHIFT)
> +#define phys_to_page(x) pfn_to_page((unsigned long)(x) >> PAGE_SHIFT)

Use tab(s), not spaces.

>
> #define virt_addr_valid(kaddr) pfn_valid(__pa(kaddr) >> PAGE_SHIFT)
>
> diff -pruN linux-2.6.24.orig/include/asm-x86/page_64.h linux-2.6.24/include/asm-x86/page_64.h
> --- linux-2.6.24.orig/include/asm-x86/page_64.h 2008-01-24 17:58:37.000000000 -0500
> +++ linux-2.6.24/include/asm-x86/page_64.h 2008-02-05 23:44:26.000000000 -0500
> @@ -126,6 +126,7 @@ extern unsigned long __phys_addr(unsigne
> #endif
>
> #define virt_to_page(kaddr) pfn_to_page(__pa(kaddr) >> PAGE_SHIFT)
> +#define phys_to_page(x) pfn_to_page((unsigned long)(x) >> PAGE_SHIFT)

Ditto.

> #define virt_addr_valid(kaddr) pfn_valid(__pa(kaddr) >> PAGE_SHIFT)
> #define pfn_to_kaddr(pfn) __va((pfn) << PAGE_SHIFT)
>
> diff -pruN linux-2.6.24.orig/mm/page_alloc.c linux-2.6.24/mm/page_alloc.c
> --- linux-2.6.24.orig/mm/page_alloc.c 2008-01-24 17:58:37.000000000 -0500
> +++ linux-2.6.24/mm/page_alloc.c 2008-02-06 00:03:28.000000000 -0500
> @@ -4378,6 +4381,91 @@ EXPORT_SYMBOL(pfn_to_page);
> EXPORT_SYMBOL(page_to_pfn);
> #endif /* CONFIG_OUT_OF_LINE_PFN_TO_PAGE */
>
> +
> +#ifdef CONFIG_BADRAM
> +
> +
> +void __init badram_markpages (int argc, unsigned long *argv) {
> + unsigned long addr, mask;
> + while (argc-- > 0) {
> + addr = *argv++;
> + mask = (argc-- > 0) ? *argv++ : ~0L;
> + mask |= ~PAGE_MASK; /* Optimalisation */

Optimisation ?

> + addr &= mask; /* Normalisation */
> + do {
> + struct page *pg = phys_to_page(addr);
> + printk(KERN_DEBUG "%016lx =%016lx\n",
> + addr >> PAGE_SHIFT,
> + (unsigned long)(pg-mem_map));
> + if (PageTestandSetBad (pg))
> + reserve_bootmem (addr, PAGE_SIZE);
> + } while (next_masked_address (&addr,mask));
> + }
> +}
> +
> +
> +
> +static int __init badram_setup (char *str)
> +{
> + unsigned long opts[3];
> + BUG_ON(!mem_map);
> + printk (KERN_INFO "PAGE_OFFSET=0x%08lx\n", PAGE_OFFSET);
> + printk (KERN_INFO "BadRAM option is %s\n", str);

No space after function name (2x).

> + if (*str++ == '=')
> + while ((str = get_longoptions (str, 3, (long *) opts), *opts)) {
> + printk (KERN_INFO " --> marking 0x%08lx, 0x%08lx [%ld]\n",
> + opts[1], opts[2], opts[0]);
> + badram_markpages (*opts, opts+1);
> + if (*opts == 1)
> + break;
> + };
> + badram_markpages (*badram_custom, badram_custom+1);
> + return 0;
> +}


---
~Randy

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