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SubjectRe: [PATCH] printk-formats.txt: Add examples for %pS and %pF

sorry for the delay.

On (08/15/17 13:36), Petr Mladek wrote:
> > Experts surely do know what function descriptors are.
> > Nevertheless even those often get it wrong as can be seen in
> > various commits.
> It seems that these specifiers are used the wrong way on many
> locations. They might be worth fixing but I cannot test it
> easily.
> Hmm, using %pF might actually cause a crash when used
> on direct function address.


> > The hope with this patch is to show widely-used examples
> > and avoid additional commits afterwards to fix it up.
> IMHO, one problem is that the meaning of ''F'' and ''f''
> is hidden at the end of the section. Also the first line
> 'For printing symbols and function pointers. The ``S`` and ``s`` '
> kind of invites to use ``S`` and ``s`` even for function pointers.
> I suggest to switch the order, slightly retranslate, add the
> examples, see below.

agree. that was my problem: I saw the examples, didn't quite
understand anything and had to read that documentation section

> > This patch was meant to be RFC.
> > If you decide not to take it, I'm fine as well.
> >
> > > *may be* on "ia64, ppc64 and parisc64" we can somehow check
> > > that the pointer, which we pass as %pS, belongs to .text and
> > > print some build-time warnings. well, if it's actually a
> > > problem. dunno.
> I think that it would need to be a runtime check because many/most
> printed addresses are not statically defined.

yep, can do.

> > I think it's not needed. Those bugs will be seen and fixed.
> I am not sure how many people are familiar with this problem.
> I might help to avoid some headaches when debugging.
> If we add the warning, it should be ratelimited to reduce messing
> of the original message.


> From ef983c65095cada994c1fe531e2b98e936c943bf Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
> From: Helge Deller <>
> Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:34:19 +0200
> Subject: [PATCH] printk-formats.txt: Better describe the difference between
> %pS and %pF
> Sometimes people seems unclear when to use the %pS or %pF printk format.
> For example, see commit 51d96dc2e2dc ("random: fix warning message on ia64
> and parisc") which fixed such a wrong format string.
> The documentation should be more clear about the difference.
> Signed-off-by: Helge Deller <>
> [ Restructure the entire section]
> Signed-off-by: Petr Mladek <>

Reviewed-by: Sergey Senozhatsky <>

> ---
> Documentation/printk-formats.txt | 19 +++++++++++--------
> 1 file changed, 11 insertions(+), 8 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/Documentation/printk-formats.txt b/Documentation/printk-formats.txt
> index 65ea5915178b..074670b98bac 100644
> --- a/Documentation/printk-formats.txt
> +++ b/Documentation/printk-formats.txt
> @@ -58,20 +58,23 @@ Symbols/Function Pointers
> %ps versatile_init
> %pB prev_fn_of_versatile_init+0x88/0x88
> -For printing symbols and function pointers. The ``S`` and ``s`` specifiers
> -result in the symbol name with (``S``) or without (``s``) offsets. Where
> -this is used on a kernel without KALLSYMS - the symbol address is
> -printed instead.
> +The ``F`` and ``f`` specifiers are for printing function pointers,
> +for example, f->func, &gettimeofday. They have the same result as
> +``S`` and ``s`` specifiers. But they do an extra conversion on
> +ia64, ppc64 and parisc64 architectures where the function pointers
> +are actually function descriptors.
> +
> +The ``S`` and ``s`` specifiers can be used for printing symbols
> +from direct addresses, for example, __builtin_return_address(0),
> +(void *)regs->ip. They result in the symbol name with (``S``) or
> +without (``s``) offsets. If KALLSYMS are disabled then the symbol
> +address is printed instead.
> The ``B`` specifier results in the symbol name with offsets and should be
> used when printing stack backtraces. The specifier takes into
> consideration the effect of compiler optimisations which may occur
> when tail-call``s are used and marked with the noreturn GCC attribute.
> -On ia64, ppc64 and parisc64 architectures function pointers are
> -actually function descriptors which must first be resolved. The ``F`` and
> -``f`` specifiers perform this resolution and then provide the same
> -functionality as the ``S`` and ``s`` specifiers.
> Kernel Pointers
> ===============

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