Commit 187f9c3f authored by Joerg Roedel's avatar Joerg Roedel
Browse files

dma-debug: Documentation update

Impact: add documentation about DMA-API debugging to DMA-API.txt

Signed-off-by: default avatarJoerg Roedel <>
parent 2118d0c5
......@@ -609,3 +609,109 @@ size is the size (and should be a page-sized multiple).
The return value will be either a pointer to the processor virtual
address of the memory, or an error (via PTR_ERR()) if any part of the
region is occupied.
Part III - Debug drivers use of the DMA-API
The DMA-API as described above as some constraints. DMA addresses must be
released with the corresponding function with the same size for example. With
the advent of hardware IOMMUs it becomes more and more important that drivers
do not violate those constraints. In the worst case such a violation can
result in data corruption up to destroyed filesystems.
To debug drivers and find bugs in the usage of the DMA-API checking code can
be compiled into the kernel which will tell the developer about those
violations. If your architecture supports it you can select the "Enable
debugging of DMA-API usage" option in your kernel configuration. Enabling this
option has a performance impact. Do not enable it in production kernels.
If you boot the resulting kernel will contain code which does some bookkeeping
about what DMA memory was allocated for which device. If this code detects an
error it prints a warning message with some details into your kernel log. An
example warning message may look like this:
------------[ cut here ]------------
WARNING: at /data2/repos/linux-2.6-iommu/lib/dma-debug.c:448
Hardware name:
forcedeth 0000:00:08.0: DMA-API: device driver frees DMA memory with wrong
function [device address=0x00000000640444be] [size=66 bytes] [mapped as
single] [unmapped as page]
Modules linked in: nfsd exportfs bridge stp llc r8169
Pid: 0, comm: swapper Tainted: G W 2.6.28-dmatest-09289-g8bb99c0 #1
Call Trace:
<IRQ> [<ffffffff80240b22>] warn_slowpath+0xf2/0x130
[<ffffffff80647b70>] _spin_unlock+0x10/0x30
[<ffffffff80537e75>] usb_hcd_link_urb_to_ep+0x75/0xc0
[<ffffffff80647c22>] _spin_unlock_irqrestore+0x12/0x40
[<ffffffff8055347f>] ohci_urb_enqueue+0x19f/0x7c0
[<ffffffff80252f96>] queue_work+0x56/0x60
[<ffffffff80237e10>] enqueue_task_fair+0x20/0x50
[<ffffffff80539279>] usb_hcd_submit_urb+0x379/0xbc0
[<ffffffff803b78c3>] cpumask_next_and+0x23/0x40
[<ffffffff80235177>] find_busiest_group+0x207/0x8a0
[<ffffffff8064784f>] _spin_lock_irqsave+0x1f/0x50
[<ffffffff803c7ea3>] check_unmap+0x203/0x490
[<ffffffff803c8259>] debug_dma_unmap_page+0x49/0x50
[<ffffffff80485f26>] nv_tx_done_optimized+0xc6/0x2c0
[<ffffffff80486c13>] nv_nic_irq_optimized+0x73/0x2b0
[<ffffffff8026df84>] handle_IRQ_event+0x34/0x70
[<ffffffff8026ffe9>] handle_edge_irq+0xc9/0x150
[<ffffffff8020e3ab>] do_IRQ+0xcb/0x1c0
[<ffffffff8020c093>] ret_from_intr+0x0/0xa
<EOI> <4>---[ end trace f6435a98e2a38c0e ]---
The driver developer can find the driver and the device including a stacktrace
of the DMA-API call which caused this warning.
Per default only the first error will result in a warning message. All other
errors will only silently counted. This limitation exist to prevent the code
from flooding your kernel log. To support debugging a device driver this can
be disabled via debugfs. See the debugfs interface documentation below for
The debugfs directory for the DMA-API debugging code is called dma-api/. In
this directory the following files can currently be found:
dma-api/all_errors This file contains a numeric value. If this
value is not equal to zero the debugging code
will print a warning for every error it finds
into the kernel log. Be carefull with this
option. It can easily flood your logs.
dma-api/disabled This read-only file contains the character 'Y'
if the debugging code is disabled. This can
happen when it runs out of memory or if it was
disabled at boot time
dma-api/error_count This file is read-only and shows the total
numbers of errors found.
dma-api/num_errors The number in this file shows how many
warnings will be printed to the kernel log
before it stops. This number is initialized to
one at system boot and be set by writing into
this file
This read-only file can be read to get the
minimum number of free dma_debug_entries the
allocator has ever seen. If this value goes
down to zero the code will disable itself
because it is not longer reliable.
The current number of free dma_debug_entries
in the allocator.
If you have this code compiled into your kernel it will be enabled by default.
If you want to boot without the bookkeeping anyway you can provide
'dma_debug=off' as a boot parameter. This will disable DMA-API debugging.
Notice that you can not enable it again at runtime. You have to reboot to do
When the code disables itself at runtime this is most likely because it ran
out of dma_debug_entries. These entries are preallocated at boot. The number
of preallocated entries is defined per architecture. If it is too low for you
boot with 'dma_debug_entries=<your_desired_number>' to overwrite the
architectural default.
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