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Subject[PATCH 0/3] Introduce DMA buffer sharing mechanism
Hello Everyone,

Post some discussion as an RFC, here is the patch for introducing
DMA buffer sharing mechanism - change history is in the changelog below.

Various subsystems - V4L2, GPU-accessors, DRI to name a few - have felt the
need to have a common mechanism to share memory buffers across different
devices - ARM, video hardware, GPU.

This need comes forth from a variety of use cases including cameras, image
processing, video recorders, sound processing, DMA engines, GPU and display
buffers, amongst others.

This patch attempts to define such a buffer sharing mechanism - it is the
result of discussions from a couple of memory-management mini-summits held by
Linaro to understand and address common needs around memory management. [1]

A new dma_buf buffer object is added, with operations and API to allow easy
sharing of this buffer object across devices.

The framework allows:
- a new buffer object to be created with fixed size, associated with a file
pointer and allocator-defined operations for this buffer object. This
operation is called the 'export' operation.
- different devices to 'attach' themselves to this buffer object, to facilitate
backing storage negotiation, using dma_buf_attach() API.
- this exported buffer object to be shared with the other entity by asking for
its 'file-descriptor (fd)', and sharing the fd across.
- a received fd to get the buffer object back, where it can be accessed using
the associated exporter-defined operations.
- the exporter and user to share the buffer object's scatterlist using
map_dma_buf and unmap_dma_buf operations.

Documentation present in the patch-set gives more details.

For 1st version, dma-buf is marked as an EXPERIMENTAL driver, which we can
remove for later versions with additional usage and testing.

*IMPORTANT*: [see for more details]
For this first version, A buffer shared using the dma_buf sharing API:
- *may* be exported to user space using "mmap" *ONLY* by exporter, outside of
this framework.
- may be used *ONLY* by importers that do not need CPU access to the buffer.

This is based on design suggestions from many people at the mini-summits,
most notably from Arnd Bergmann <>, Rob Clark <> and
Daniel Vetter <>.

The implementation is inspired from proof-of-concept patch-set from
Tomasz Stanislawski <>, who demonstrated buffer sharing
between two v4l2 devices. [2]

Some sample implementations and WIP for dma-buf users and exporters are
available at [3] and [4]. [These are not being submitted for discussion /
inclusion right now, but are for reference only]

[3]: Dave Airlie's prime support:
[4]: Rob Clark's sharing between DRM and V4L2:

Patchset based on top of 3.2-rc7, the current version can be found at
Branch: dmabuf-patch-v1

Earlier versions:
v3 at:
v2 at:
v1 at:

Wish you all happy vacations and a very happy, joyous and prosperous new year
2012 :)

Best regards,
~Sumit Semwal

- Review comments incorporated:
- from Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk []
- corrected language in some comments
- re-ordered struct definitions for readability
- added might_sleep() call in dma_buf_map_attachment() wrapper

- from Rob Clark []
- Made dma-buf EXPERIMENTAL for 1st version.

- Review comments incorporated:
- from Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk []
- replaced BUG_ON with WARN_ON - various places
- added some error-checks
- some cosmetic / documentation comments

- from Arnd Bergmann, Daniel Vetter, Rob Clark
- removed mmap() fop and dma_buf_op, also the sg_sync* operations, and
documented that mmap is not allowed for exported buffer
- updated documentation to clearly state when migration is allowed
- changed kconfig
- some error code checks

- from Rob Clark []
- update documentation to allow map_dma_buf to return -EINTR

- Review comments incorporated:
- from Tomasz Stanislawski []
- kzalloc moved out of critical section
- corrected some in-code comments

- from Dave Airlie []

- from Daniel Vetter and Rob Clark []
- use struct sg_table in place of struct scatterlist
- rename {get,put}_scatterlist to {map,unmap}_dma_buf
- add new wrapper APIs dma_buf_{map,unmap}_attachment for ease of users

- documentation updates as per review comments from Randy Dunlap

v1: original

Sumit Semwal (3):
dma-buf: Introduce dma buffer sharing mechanism
dma-buf: Documentation for buffer sharing framework
dma-buf: mark EXPERIMENTAL for 1st release.

Documentation/dma-buf-sharing.txt | 224 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
drivers/base/Kconfig | 11 ++
drivers/base/Makefile | 1 +
drivers/base/dma-buf.c | 291 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
include/linux/dma-buf.h | 176 ++++++++++++++++++++++
5 files changed, 703 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
create mode 100644 Documentation/dma-buf-sharing.txt
create mode 100644 drivers/base/dma-buf.c
create mode 100644 include/linux/dma-buf.h


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