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SubjectRe: Misalignment, MIPS, and ip_hdr(skb)->version
On 2016-12-10 21:32, Måns Rullgård wrote:
> Felix Fietkau <> writes:
>> On 2016-12-10 14:25, Måns Rullgård wrote:
>>> Felix Fietkau <> writes:
>>>> On 2016-12-07 19:54, Jason A. Donenfeld wrote:
>>>>> On Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 7:51 PM, David Miller <> wrote:
>>>>>> It's so much better to analyze properly where the misalignment comes from
>>>>>> and address it at the source, as we have for various cases that trip up
>>>>>> Sparc too.
>>>>> That's sort of my attitude too, hence starting this thread. Any
>>>>> pointers you have about this would be most welcome, so as not to
>>>>> perpetuate what already seems like an issue in other parts of the
>>>>> stack.
>>>> Hi Jason,
>>>> I'm the author of that hackish LEDE/OpenWrt patch that works around the
>>>> misalignment issues. Here's some context regarding that patch:
>>>> I intentionally put it in the target specific patches for only one of
>>>> our MIPS targets. There are a few ar71xx devices where the misalignment
>>>> cannot be fixed, because the Ethernet MAC has a 4-byte DMA alignment
>>>> requirement, and does not support inserting 2 bytes of padding to
>>>> correct the IP header misalignment.
>>>> With these limitations the choice was between this ugly network stack
>>>> patch or inserting a very expensive memmove in the data path (which is
>>>> better than taking the mis-alignment traps, but still hurts routing
>>>> performance significantly).
>>> I solved this problem in an Ethernet driver by copying the initial part
>>> of the packet to an aligned skb and appending the remainder using
>>> skb_add_rx_frag(). The kernel network stack only cares about the
>>> headers, so the alignment of the packet payload doesn't matter.
>> I considered that as well, but it's bad for routing performance if the
>> ethernet MAC does not support scatter/gather for xmit.
>> Unfortunately that limitation is quite common on embedded hardware.
> Yes, I can see that being an issue. However, if you're doing zero-copy
> routing, the header part of the original buffer should still be there,
> unused, so you could presumably copy the header of the outgoing packet
> there and then do dma as usual. Maybe there's something in the network
> stack that makes this impossible though.
That still puts more pressure on the ridiculously small dcache sizes
that are typical for embedded MIPS routers.

- Felix

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