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Subject[PATCH v5 1/5] firmware: document user mode helper lock usage
From: Daniel Wagner <>

The lock is also used to generate warnings when a direct
firmware load is requested too early.

The usermodehelper locking code was added by b298d289c792 ("PM / Sleep:
Fix freezer failures due to racy usermodehelper_is_disabled()").

As Luis points out:

"Reviewing commit 247bc03742545 ("PM / Sleep: Mitigate race between the freezer
and request_firmware()") which originally extended umh state machine from
just being enabled/disabled, with the concepts of UMH_ENABLED, UMH_FREEZING,
UMH_DISABLED -- its goal was to prevent UMH uses during suspend. So -- the
"UMH lock" on firmware was actually added to help avoid races between freezing
and request_firmware(). We should not re-use UMH status notifiers when the
firmware UMH is disabled for the same concepts -- if we needed such a concept
then we should take this out from UMH code and generalize it."

After some discussion with Ming it was decided to put a comment to the
code to document the usage of the umh and a TODO to resolve this by
having some generic means to detect ongoing freezing operations.

Cc: Ming Lei <>
Cc: Luis R. Rodriguez <>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Signed-off-by: Daniel Wagner <>
drivers/base/firmware_class.c | 13 +++++++++++++
1 file changed, 13 insertions(+)

diff --git a/drivers/base/firmware_class.c b/drivers/base/firmware_class.c
index 960f8f7..8eba1fb 100644
--- a/drivers/base/firmware_class.c
+++ b/drivers/base/firmware_class.c
@@ -1150,6 +1150,19 @@ _request_firmware(const struct firmware **firmware_p, const char *name,
if (ret <= 0) /* error or already assigned */
goto out;

+ /*
+ * The usermode helper lock is taken to serialize the firmware
+ * loading even when no usermoder mode helper is used at all.
+ *
+ * Some drivers may not benefit from firmware loading cache
+ * when requesting loading in .resume(). In the situation of
+ * suspend vs. resume, it is still too early for direct
+ * loading. With UMH lock, we can get a warning or avoid the
+ * issue.
+ *
+ * TODO: Taking the UMH lock is a bit missleading and it makes
+ * sense to generalize this to a common freezer check.
+ */
ret = 0;
timeout = firmware_loading_timeout();
if (opt_flags & FW_OPT_NOWAIT) {
 \ /
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