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SubjectRe: [PATCH 00/10] Enhance /dev/mem to allow read/write of arbitrary physical addresses
On 06/19/2011 04:02 PM, Ryan Mallon wrote:
> On 17/06/11 19:30, Ingo Molnar wrote:
>> * Petr Tesarik<ptesarik@suse.cz> wrote:
>>
>>> This patch series enhances /dev/mem, so that read and write is
>>> possible at any address. The patchset includes actual
>>> implementation for x86.
>> This series lacks a description of why this is desired.
>>
>> My strong opinion is that it's not desired at all: /dev/mem never
>> worked beyond 4G addresses so by today it has become largely obsolete
>> and is on the way out really.
>>
>> I'm aware of these current /dev/mem uses:
>>
>> - Xorg maps below 4G non-RAM addresses and the video BIOS
>>
>> - It used to have some debugging role but these days kexec and kgdb
>> has largely taken over that role - partly due to the 4G limit.
>>
>> - there's some really horrible out-of-tree drivers that do mmap()s
>> via /dev/mem, those should be fixed if they want to move beyond
>> 4G: their char device should be mmap()able.
>
> There are drivers where this makes sense. For example an FPGA device
> with a proprietary register layout on the memory bus can be done this
> way. The FPGA can simply be mapped in user-space via /dev/mem and
> handled there. If the device requires no access other than memory bus
> reads and writes then writing a custom char device driver just to get an
> mmap function seems a bit overkill.
>

There are some test drivers which really want /dev/mem to work.

FPGA devices like that really should be exported as resources from a
platform driver or device tree driver, at which point those resources
can be memory-mapped. That being said, using /dev/mem for fixed
resources is semicommon.

-hpa

--
H. Peter Anvin, Intel Open Source Technology Center
I work for Intel. I don't speak on their behalf.



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