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SubjectRe: HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS on ARM32 (was: Alignment issues in zImage with Linux 4.12, LZ4 and GCC5.3)
On 7 September 2017 at 00:18, Arnd Bergmann <> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 12:48 AM, Ard Biesheuvel
> <> wrote:
>> On 6 September 2017 at 23:38, Arnd Bergmann <> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 12:23 AM, Ard Biesheuvel
>>> <> wrote:
>>>> On 6 September 2017 at 21:57, Arnd Bergmann <> wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 6:19 PM, Romain Izard <> wrote:
>>>> HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS only affects explicit unaligned
>>>> accesses, and selects between fixups in hardware or in software.
>>>> AFAICT the issue here is implicit unaligned accesses, where char
>>>> pointers are passed as u32 * arguments.
>>> The problem with include/linux/unaligned/access_ok.h is that it
>>> converts pointers
>>> that are known by the caller to be potentially unaligned and accesses them as if
>>> they were aligned. This means we require a software fixup through the
>>> trap handler
>>> on ARM in cases that the compiler already knows how to handle correctly when
>>> using linux/unaligned/le_struct.h. On ARMv7 this means it ends up using normal
>>> load/store instructures but not the ldm/stm or ldrd/stdr instructions
>>> that are not
>>> allowed on unaligned pointers.
>> Ah ok, I missed that part. The distinction between ldr/str and
>> ldm/stm/ldrd is a bit fiddly, but if we can solve this using C code, I
>> am all for it.
>>> Doing that solves the problem that Romain ran into and also makes other
>>> code much more efficient on ARMv7.
>> It is not entirely clear to me why casting to a pointer-to-struct type
>> makes any difference here. Is it simply because of the __packed
>> attribute?
> The problem is code like
> struct twoint {
> int a; int b;
> };
> void __noinline access_unaligned_8bytes(struct twoint *s, int a, int b)
> {
> put_unaligned(a, &s->a);
> put_unaligned(b, &s->b);
> }
> int caller(char *c, int offset, int a, int b)
> {
> access_unaligned_8bytes((void *)c + offset, a, b);
> }
> With include/linux/unaligned/access_ok.h, this turns into two stores
> that gcc can combine into a single 'strd' or 'stm'. With the
> linux/unaligned/le_struct.h version, gcc knows that the pointer
> may be unaligned, so it will use instructions that it knows are
> safe, either byte accesses (on armv5 and earlier) or normal
> str (on armv6+).
>> Anyway, the issue I spotted in the LZ4 code did not use unaligned
>> accessors at all, so we must be talking about different things here.
> I see lots of unaligned helpers in the lz4 code, is this not what
> we hit?
> $ git grep unaligned lib/
> lib/lz4/lz4_compress.c:#include <asm/unaligned.h>
> lib/lz4/lz4_decompress.c:#include <asm/unaligned.h>
> lib/lz4/lz4defs.h:#include <asm/unaligned.h>
> lib/lz4/lz4defs.h: return get_unaligned((const U16 *)ptr);
> lib/lz4/lz4defs.h: return get_unaligned((const U32 *)ptr);
> lib/lz4/lz4defs.h: return get_unaligned((const size_t *)ptr);
> lib/lz4/lz4defs.h: put_unaligned(value, (U16 *)memPtr);

Yes, you are right. The code I looked at before does cast a char* to a
U32*, but it is in the compression path, so it has nothing to do with
this issue.

So I agree that access_ok.h is unsuitable for any 32-bit ARM core, and
we should be using the struct version instead. My only remaining
question is why we need access_ok.h in the first place: it is worth a
try to check whether both produce the same code on AArch64.

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