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SubjectRe: Driver crash on kernel Interaction between cx8800 (DVB-S) and USB HVR Hauppauge 950q
On Tue, 2010-02-09 at 22:12 -0500, Devin Heitmueller wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM, Richard Lemieux <> wrote:
> > Andy,
> >
> > This is a great answer! Thanks very much. When I get into this situation
> > again
> > I will know what to look for.
> >
> > A possible reason why I got into this problem in the first place is that I
> > tried
> > many combinations of parameters with mplayer and azap in order to learn how
> > to use the USB tuner in both the ATSC and the NTSC mode. I will look back
> > in the terminal history to see if I can find anything.
> I think the key to figuring out the bug at this point is you finding a
> sequence where you can reliably reproduce the oops. If we have that,
> then I can start giving you some code to try which we can see if it
> addresses the problem.
> For example, I would start by giving you a fix which results in us not
> calling the firmware release if the request_firmware() call failed,
> but it wouldn't be much help if you could not definitively tell me if
> the problem is fixed.

For the oops analysis here:

I will also note that the file scope "fw_lock" mutex is rather
inconsistently used in
linux/drivers/base/fw_class.c:firmware_loading_store(). (I guess for
not wanting to consume the timeout interval with sleeping?)

The mutex protects "case 1:", but all other cases appear to be only
protected by atomic status bit checks that can fall through to
fw_load_abort() which complete()'s the fw_priv->completion.

Also not that in the _request_firmware() this sequence is the only place
a once good "fw_priv->fw" pointer is set to NULL:

if (!fw_priv->fw->size || test_bit(FW_STATUS_ABORT, &fw_priv->status)) {
retval = -ENOENT;
*firmware_p = NULL;
fw_priv->fw = NULL; <--------------- The only place it is set to NULL

So if the timeout timer fires at nearly the same time as udev coming in
and say "I'm done loading" without holding the mutex, one can run into
the Ooops. Not only that, I think the above code can leak memory under
some circumstances when the "if" clause is not satisfied.

I think this really is a firmware_class.c issue. I think the "just
right" firmware loading timeouts and the particular computer system
responsiveness, make this Ooops possible. However, I'm amazed that a
single person has tripped it more than once.

Revising the locking in linux/drivers/base/firmware_class.c should fix
the problem.

I don't believe this comment in the code now:

/* fw_lock could be moved to 'struct firmware_priv' but since it is just
* guarding for corner cases a global lock should be OK */
static DEFINE_MUTEX(fw_lock);

struct firmware_priv {
char *fw_id;

And since "f_priv" is dynamically created and destroyed by
request_firmware() I see no harm in

1. moving the mutex into struct firmware_priv
2. just always just grabbing an almost never contended mutex
3. getting rid of the file scope fw_lock.

except grabbing a mutex() while the timeout timer is running during
loading, means one *could* sleep for a while consuming the timeout

Or am I out to lunch?


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