[lkml]   [2018]   [Apr]   [25]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: [PATCH v7 2/5] of: change overlay apply input data from unflattened to FDT
On Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 3:07 PM, Jan Kiszka <> wrote:
> On 2018-04-25 20:40, Frank Rowand wrote:
>> On 04/24/18 22:23, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>> On 2018-04-24 22:56, Frank Rowand wrote:
>>>> Hi Alan,
>>>> On 04/23/18 15:38, Frank Rowand wrote:
>>>>> Hi Jan,
>>>>> + Alan Tull for fpga perspective
>>>>> On 04/22/18 03:30, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>>>> On 2018-04-11 07:42, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>>>>> On 2018-04-05 23:12, Rob Herring wrote:
>>>>>>>> On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 2:28 PM, Frank Rowand <> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On 04/05/18 12:13, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> On 2018-04-05 20:59, Frank Rowand wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> Hi Jan,
>>>>>>>>>>> On 04/04/18 15:35, Jan Kiszka wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> Hi Frank,
>>>>>>>>>>>> On 2018-03-04 01:17, wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> From: Frank Rowand <>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Move duplicating and unflattening of an overlay flattened devicetree
>>>>>>>>>>>>> (FDT) into the overlay application code. To accomplish this,
>>>>>>>>>>>>> of_overlay_apply() is replaced by of_overlay_fdt_apply().
>>>>>>>>>>>>> The copy of the FDT (aka "duplicate FDT") now belongs to devicetree
>>>>>>>>>>>>> code, which is thus responsible for freeing the duplicate FDT. The
>>>>>>>>>>>>> caller of of_overlay_fdt_apply() remains responsible for freeing the
>>>>>>>>>>>>> original FDT.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> The unflattened devicetree now belongs to devicetree code, which is
>>>>>>>>>>>>> thus responsible for freeing the unflattened devicetree.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> These ownership changes prevent early freeing of the duplicated FDT
>>>>>>>>>>>>> or the unflattened devicetree, which could result in use after free
>>>>>>>>>>>>> errors.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> of_overlay_fdt_apply() is a private function for the anticipated
>>>>>>>>>>>>> overlay loader.
>>>>>>>>>>>> We are using of_fdt_unflatten_tree + of_overlay_apply in the
>>>>>>>>>>>> (out-of-tree) Jailhouse loader driver in order to register a virtual
>>>>>>>>>>>> device during hypervisor activation with Linux. The DT overlay is
>>>>>>>>>>>> created from a a template but modified prior to application to account
>>>>>>>>>>>> for runtime-specific parameters. See [1] for the current implementation.
>>>>>>>>>>>> I'm now wondering how to model that scenario best with the new API.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Given that the loader lost ownership of the unflattened tree but the
>>>>>>>>>>>> modification API exist only for the that DT state, I'm not yet seeing a
>>>>>>>>>>>> clear solution. Should we apply the template in disabled form (status =
>>>>>>>>>>>> "disabled"), modify it, and then activate it while it is already applied?
>>>>>>>>>>> Thank you for the pointer to the driver - that makes it much easier to
>>>>>>>>>>> understand the use case and consider solutions.
>>>>>>>>>>> If you can make the changes directly on the FDT instead of on the
>>>>>>>>>>> expanded devicetree, then you could move to the new API.
>>>>>>>>>> Are there some examples/references on how to edit FDTs in-place in the
>>>>>>>>>> kernel? I'd like to avoid writing the n-th FDT parser/generator.
>>>>>>>>> I don't know of any existing in-kernel edits of the FDT (but they might
>>>>>>>>> exist). The functions to access an FDT are in libfdt, which is in
>>>>>>>>> scripts/dtc/libfdt/.
>>>>>>>> Let's please not go down that route of doing FDT modifications. There
>>>>>>>> is little reason to other than for early boot changes. And it is much
>>>>>>>> easier to work on unflattened trees.
>>>>>>> I just briefly looked into libfdt, and it would have meant building it
>>>>>>> into the module as there are no library functions exported by the kernel
>>>>>>> either. Another reason to drop that.
>>>>>>> What's apparently working now is the pattern I initially suggested:
>>>>>>> Register template with status = "disabled" as overlay, then prepare and
>>>>>>> apply changeset that contains all needed modifications and sets the
>>>>>>> status to "ok". I might be leaking additional resources, but to find
>>>>>>> that out, I will now finally have to resolve clean unbinding of the
>>>>>>> generic PCI host controller [1] first.
>>>>>> static void free_overlay_changeset(struct overlay_changeset *ovcs)
>>>>>> {
>>>>>> [...]
>>>>>> /*
>>>>>> * TODO
>>>>>> *
>>>>>> * would like to: kfree(ovcs->overlay_tree);
>>>>>> * but can not since drivers may have pointers into this data
>>>>>> *
>>>>>> * would like to: kfree(ovcs->fdt);
>>>>>> * but can not since drivers may have pointers into this data
>>>>>> */
>>>>>> kfree(ovcs);
>>>>>> }
>>>>>> What's this? I have kmemleak now jumping at me over this. Who is suppose
>>>>>> to plug these leaks? The caller of of_overlay_fdt_apply has no pointers
>>>>>> to those objects. I would say that's a regression of the new API.
>>>>> The problem already existed but it was hidden. We have never been able to
>>>>> kfree() these object because we do not know if there are any pointers into
>>>>> these objects. The new API makes the problem visible to kmemleak.
>>>>> The reason that we do not know if there are any pointers into these objects
>>>>> is that devicetree access APIs return pointers into the devicetree internal
>>>>> data structures (that is, into the overlay unflattened devicetree). If we
>>>>> want to be able to do the kfree()s, we could change the devicetree access
>>>>> APIs.
>>>>> The reason that pointers into the overlay flattened tree (ovcs->fdt) are
>>>>> also exposed is that the overlay unflattened devicetree property values
>>>>> are pointers into the overlay fdt.
>>>>> ** This paragraph becomes academic (and not needed) if the fix in the next
>>>>> paragraph can be implemented. **
>>>>> I _think_ that the fdt issue __for overlays__ can be fixed somewhat easily.
>>>>> (I would want to read through the code again to make sure I'm not missing
>>>>> any issues.) If the of_fdt_unflatten_tree() called by of_overlay_fdt_apply()
>>>>> was modified so that property values were copied into newly allocated memory
>>>>> and the live tree property pointers were set to the copy instead of to
>>>>> the value in the fdt, then I _think_ the fdt could be freed in
>>>>> of_overlay_fdt_apply() after calling of_overlay_apply(). The code that
>>>>> frees a devicetree would also have to be aware of this change -- I'm not
>>>>> sure if that leads to ugly complications or if it is easy. The other
>>>>> question to consider is whether to make the same change to
>>>>> of_fdt_unflatten_tree() when it is called in early boot to unflatten
>>>>> the base devicetree. Doing so would increase the memory usage of the
>>>>> live tree (we would not be able to free the base fdt after unflattening
>>>>> it because we make the fdt visible in /sys/firmware/fdt -- though
>>>>> _maybe_ that could be conditioned on CONFIG_KEXEC).
>>>> Question added below this paragraph.
>>>>> But all of the complexity of that fix is _only_ because of_overlay_apply()
>>>>> and of_overlay_remove() call overlay_notify(), passing in the overlay
>>>>> unflattened devicetree (which has pointers into the overlay fdt). Pointers
>>>>> into the overlay unflattened devicetree are then passed to the notifiers.
>>>>> (Again, I may be missing some other place that the overlay unflattened
>>>>> devicetree is made visible to other code -- a more thorough reading of
>>>>> the code is needed.) If the notifiers could be modified to accept the
>>>>> changeset list instead of of pointers to the fragments in the overlay
>>>>> unflattened devicetree then there would be no possibility of the notifiers
>>>>> keeping a pointer into the overlay fdt. I do not know if this is a
>>>>> practical change for the notifiers -- there are no callers of
>>>>> of_overlay_notifier_register() in the mainline kernel source. My
>>>>> recollection is that the overlay notifiers were added for the fpga
>>>>> subsystem.
>>>> Can the fpga notifiers be changed to have the changeset as an input
>>>> instead of having the overlay devicetree fragment and target as an
>>>> input?
>>>> The changeset lists nodes and properties to be added, but does not
>>>> expose any pointers to the overlay fdt or the overlay unflattened
>>>> devicetree. This guarantees no leakage of pointers into the overlay
>>>> fdt or the overlay unflattened devicetree. The changeset contains
>>>> pointers to copies of data, but those copies are never freed (and
>>>> thus they are yet another existing memory leak).
>>> Also they are freed, of course: When the last reference to the node they
>>> point to reaches 0 (e.g. triggered by of_changeset_destroy), that node
>>> goes away and takes down remaining dead properties. I've ran through
>>> this already. And I also made sure that my code is not triggering such
>>> kind of leaks as well.
>> mea culpa. I go around in circles while trying to remember all the
>> overlay related issues. I needed to go back and read the code to
>> refresh my memory. Thanks for the prod to re-read the code.
>> Yes, of_changeset_destroy() will lead to the kfree() of the node and
>> it's properties _if_ the node reference count is correct. So what I
>> said about a memory leak was incorrect in a perfect world (and my
>> memory was wrong). However, this is not a perfect world and we know
>> that the reference count on devicetree nodes is often incorrect due
>> to bugs in common infrastructure and drivers. This issue will not
>> be resolved until we pull all reference count manipulation into the
>> devicetree core.
> I don't get this yet. When I want some value from life tree, I do a node
> search, get a pointer and the core incremented its reference, can query
> the node and its properties, and when I'm done, I call of_node_put and
> forget about all pointers I got. What would you do differently?
>> The net result is that we should not expect
>> overlay removal to correctly free all memory that was allocated
>> when applying the overlay.
> Depends on the overlay. If you do not modify existing nodes but only add
> new ones, it is fair to expect complete removal.
>> I _think_ (but did not spend the time to verify) that there is a small
>> corner case memory leak even if the reference count on devicetree
>> nodes is correct. If an overlay adds a property to an existing node
>> then removing the overlay will not kfree() the property, and it
>> will remain on the deadprops list. There are some places that
>> properties are removed from deadprops, but I don't think they fully
>> resolve the issue. Again, this is a corner case, and I am willing
>> to document it as a limitation until it gets fixed.

This doesn't solve all of your concern, but it gets me wondering
whether overlay_notify should add a of_node_get(fragment->overlay)
before doing the blocking_notifier_call_chain and a of_node_put

> I ran into this the other day: If you modify an existing property, the
> old value will be put into deadprops and only be freed when the node is
> freed. It may come back from deadprops if a changeset comes around with
> the very same property object for another modification.
> But that means: if your overlay just adds nodes, all of them, including
> their deadprops from potential changes on top, will go away on overlay
> removal.
> BTW, here is my new code that exploits this to be leak-free:
>> Then returning to me going around in circles... This thread led me to
>> think that since since the overlay apply code copied data into never
>> freed memory (false premise, as you pointed out) that we did not
>> have to worry about drivers retaining pointers into overlay data
>> after the overlay had been freed (with the one remaining exposure
>> being via the overlay notifiers, which _might_ be easily resolved,
>> pending Alan's analysis) -- this would have been great news for
>> removing an issue for general use of overlays.
>> But now we are back to the long-standing problem that we have no way
>> of knowing whether there are any live pointers to the memory that is
>> freed by of_changeset_destroy(). And I am not aware of any solution
>> to this problem other than changing the devicetree access API so that
>> it never returns any pointer into the live devicetree.
> I don't agree yet with this drastic measure until you can point me to
> code that pulls and stores pointers to arbitrary devicetree content
> without that node reference counting. The pattern we otherwise see all
> around it you get a pointer (or a set of them) along with the duty to
> explicitly drop it again by some put() operation.
>> The practical impact of all of this, is if we can change the overlay
>> notifier parameters to include the overlay changeset instead of
>> the overlay devicetree, then I think that of_overlay_apply() will
>> be able to kfree() the overlay fdt and overlay devicetree. And
>> if not of_overlay_apply(), then free_overlay_changeset().
> Isn't that just s/node/changeset/ without any other semantic changes? If
> the receiver of the changeset reference does not take care of lifecycle
> management for that object either, we are back at square #1. A changeset
> is just a gate to the nodes and properties that are currently passed
> directly.
> Jan

 \ /
  Last update: 2018-04-25 22:28    [W:0.121 / U:3.416 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site