[lkml]   [2017]   [Aug]   [15]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: [PATCH] devicetree: Enable generation of __symbols__ in all dtb files
On 08/15/17 15:36, Rob Herring wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 4:15 PM, Tom Rini <> wrote:
>> With support for stacked overlays being part of libfdt it is now
>> possible and likely that overlays which require __symbols__ will be
>> applied to the dtb files generated by the kernel. This is done by
>> passing -@ to dtc. This does increase the filesize (and resident memory
>> usage) based on the number of __symbol__ entries added to match the
>> contents of the dts.
>> Cc: Rob Herring <>
>> Cc: Frank Rowand <>
>> Cc: Masahiro Yamada <>
>> Cc: Michal Marek <>
>> Cc: Pantelis Antoniou <>
>> Cc:
>> Cc:
>> CC:
>> Signed-off-by: Tom Rini <>
>> ---
>> In order for a dtb file to be useful with all types of overlays, it
>> needs to be generated with the -@ flag passed to dtc so that __symbols__
>> are generated. This however is not free, and increases the resulting
>> dtb file by up to approximately 50% today. In the current worst case
>> this is moving from 88KiB to 133KiB. In talking with Frank about this,
> Plus some amount for the unflattened tree in memory, too.
>> he outlined 3 possible ways (with the 4th option of something else
>> entirely).
>> 1. Make passing -@ to dtc be dependent upon some CONFIG symbol.
>> 2. In the kernel, if the kernel does not have overlay support, discard
>> the __symbols__ information that we've been passed.
>> 3. Have the bootloader pass in, or not, __symbols__ information.
>> This patch is an attempt to implement something between the 3rd option
>> and a different, 4th option. Frank was thinking that we might introduce
>> a new symbol to control generation of __symbol__ information for option
>> 1. I think this gets the usage backwards and will lead to confusion
>> among users and developers.
>> My proposal is that we do not want __symbols__ existence to be dependent
>> on some part of the kernel configuration for a number of reasons.
>> First, this is out of step with the rest of how dtbs are created today
>> and more importantly, thought about. Today, all dtb content is
>> independent of CONFIG options. If you build a dtb from a given kernel
>> tree, everyone will agree on the result. This is part of the "contract"
>> on passing old kernels and new dtb files even.
> Agree completely. I don't even like that building dtbs depends on the ARCH.
> However, option 2 may still be useful. There's no point exposing what
> can't be used. Furthermore, exposing __symbols__ in /proc/device-tree
> at all may be a bad idea. We should consider if it should always be
> hidden. That would also allow storing the __symbols__ data however we
> want internally (i.e. with less memory usage).

Yes. I would prefer to treat the __symbols__ node as an internal
representation of information used by the device tree subsystem.
It is not hardware description.

> The complication is
> always kexec which I haven't thought about too much here.

That should not be an issue, because the device tree is exposed to kexec
via /sys/firmware/fdt instead of /sys/firmware/devicetree/base (which
is what /proc/device-tree links to), according to
Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-firmware-ofw. So the __symbols__
node will be exposed to kexec.

> Also, perhaps we need finer grain control of __symbols__ generation.
> We really don't want userspace to be able to modify anything in the DT
> at any point in time. That's a big can of worms and we don't want to
> start there. The problem is labels are widely used just for
> convenience and weren't part of the ABI. With overlays that changes,
> so we either need to restrict labels usage or define another way. It
> could be as simple as defining some prefix for label names for labels
> to export.

Agreed. We could also restrict labels in connector nodes to be visible.

>> Second, I think this is out of step with how a lot of overlay usage will
>> occur. My thinking is that with maximally useful overlays being
>> available in mainline, lots of use-cases that we have today that result
>> in a number of DTS files being included can become just overlays. This
>> is true in terms of not only evaluation kits but also when these systems
>> are turned into custom hardware. This is even more true for SoM based
>> systems where a physical widget would be a SoM + carrier overlay +
>> custom parts overlay. These cases are going to be resolved with
>> overlays being applied outside of the kernel.
>> Signed-off-by: Tom Rini <>
>> ---
>> drivers/of/unittest-data/Makefile | 5 -----
>> scripts/Makefile.lib | 3 +++
>> 2 files changed, 3 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)
>> diff --git a/drivers/of/unittest-data/Makefile b/drivers/of/unittest-data/Makefile
>> index 6e00a9c69e58..70731cfe8900 100644
>> --- a/drivers/of/unittest-data/Makefile
>> +++ b/drivers/of/unittest-data/Makefile
>> @@ -11,8 +11,3 @@ targets += overlay_base.dtb overlay_base.dtb.S
>> $(obj)/%.dtb.S \
>> $(obj)/%.dtb
>> -
>> -# enable creation of __symbols__ node
>> -DTC_FLAGS_overlay := -@
>> -DTC_FLAGS_overlay_bad_phandle := -@
>> -DTC_FLAGS_overlay_base := -@
>> diff --git a/scripts/Makefile.lib b/scripts/Makefile.lib
>> index 58c05e5d9870..a1f4a6b29d75 100644
>> --- a/scripts/Makefile.lib
>> +++ b/scripts/Makefile.lib
>> @@ -293,6 +293,9 @@ DTC_FLAGS += -Wnode_name_chars_strict \
>> -Wproperty_name_chars_strict
>> endif
>> +# enable creation of __symbols__ node
>> +DTC_FLAGS += -@
>> +
>> DTC_FLAGS += $(DTC_FLAGS_$(basetarget))
>> # Generate an assembly file to wrap the output of the device tree compiler
>> --
>> 1.9.1
> .

 \ /
  Last update: 2017-08-16 01:57    [W:0.082 / U:1.628 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site