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SubjectRe: [PATCH AUTOSEL 4.19 133/191] efi: honour memory reservations passed via a linux specific config table
(adding Marc, the GIC maintainer)

On Sun, 10 Nov 2019 at 15:57, Sasha Levin <sashal@kernel.org> wrote:
>
> On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 02:16:57PM +0000, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> >On Sun, 10 Nov 2019 at 13:27, Sasha Levin <sashal@kernel.org> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 08:33:47AM +0100, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> >> >On Sun, 10 Nov 2019 at 03:44, Sasha Levin <sashal@kernel.org> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> From: Ard Biesheuvel <ard.biesheuvel@linaro.org>
> >> >>
> >> >> [ Upstream commit 71e0940d52e107748b270213a01d3b1546657d74 ]
> >> >>
> >> >> In order to allow the OS to reserve memory persistently across a
> >> >> kexec, introduce a Linux-specific UEFI configuration table that
> >> >> points to the head of a linked list in memory, allowing each kernel
> >> >> to add list items describing memory regions that the next kernel
> >> >> should treat as reserved.
> >> >>
> >> >> This is useful, e.g., for GICv3 based ARM systems that cannot disable
> >> >> DMA access to the LPI tables, forcing them to reuse the same memory
> >> >> region again after a kexec reboot.
> >> >>
> >> >> Tested-by: Jeremy Linton <jeremy.linton@arm.com>
> >> >> Signed-off-by: Ard Biesheuvel <ard.biesheuvel@linaro.org>
> >> >> Signed-off-by: Sasha Levin <sashal@kernel.org>
> >> >
> >> >NAK
> >> >
> >> >This doesn't belong in -stable, and I'd be interested in understanding
> >> >how this got autoselected, and how I can prevent this from happening
> >> >again in the future.
> >>
> >> It was selected because it's part of a fix for a real issue reported by
> >> users:
> >>
> >
> >For my understanding, are you saying your AI is reading launchpad bug
> >reports etc? Because it is marked AUTOSEL.
>
> Not quite. This review set was me feeding all the patches Ubuntu has on
> top of stable trees into AUTOSEL, and sending out the output for review.
> I doesn't look into launchpad bug reports on it's own, but in my
> experience one can find a bug report for mostly everything AUTOSEL
> considers to be a bug.
>

So the assumption is that taking an arbitrary subset of what Ubuntu
backported (and tested extensively), and letting that subset be chosen
by a bot is a process that improves the quality of stable trees? I'm
rather skeptical of that tbh.

> >> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1806766
> >>
> >
> >That pages mentions
> >
> >"""
> >2 upstream patch series are required to fix this:
> > https://<email address hidden>/msg10328.html
> >Which provides an EFI facility consumed by:
> > https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/9/21/1066
> >There were also some follow-on fixes to deal with ARM-specific
> >problems associated with this usage:
> > https://www.spinics.net/lists/arm-kernel/msg685751.html
> >"""
> >
> >and without the other patches, we only add bugs and don't fix any.
> >
> >> Besides ubuntu, it is also carried by:
> >>
> >> SUSE: https://www.suse.com/support/update/announcement/2019/suse-su-20191530-1/
> >> CentOS: https://koji.mbox.centos.org/koji/buildinfo?buildID=4558
> >>
> >> As a way to resolve the reported bug.
> >>
> >
> >Backporting a feature/fix like this requires careful consideration of
> >the patches involved, and doing actual testing on hardware.
> >
> >> Any reason this *shouldn't* be in stable?
> >
> >Yes. By itself, it causes crashes at early boot and does not actually
> >solve the problem.
>
> Sure, let's work on gathering all the needed patches then and testing it
> out.
>

No, let's not. This is a feature that was introduced to address a
shortcoming in some hardware that makes kexec/kdump problematic on
them. If you want kexec/kdump on that hardware, use a newer kernel.

> >> I'm aware that there might be
> >> dependencies that are not obvious to me, but the solution here is to
> >> take those dependencies as well rather than ignore the process
> >> completely.
> >>
> >
> >This is not a bugfix. kexec/kdump never worked correctly on the
> >hardware involved, and backporting a feature like that goes way beyond
> >what I am willing to accept for stable backports affecting the EFI
> >subsystem.
>
> I'm a bit confused. The bug report starts with:
>
> [Impact]
> kdump support isn't usable on HiSilicon D05 systems. This
> previously worked in bionic.
>
> So it seems like it did use to work, but not anymore?
>

I have no idea what Ubuntu shipped in the previous kernel, but
labelling this as a software regression is dubious at least, and
wholly inaccurate for upstream.

> Either way, I understand that you want to keep the stable tree
> conservative, but keep in mind that the flip side of not taking fixes
> that users ask for means that distros end up having to carry them
> anyway, which means that they don't get the review and testing they
> need.
>

I'd say it is the opposite. At least the distros test their backports
on actual hardware. Taking any part of this set without testing it by
doing kexec/kdump on an affected ARM system, and regression testing it
on the hardware that got broken by it (with hundreds of cores IIRC) is
totally irresponsible, and I don't have the time or the hardware to do
the testing.

> We can argue all we want around whether it's a fix or not, but if most
> distros carry it then I think our argument is moot.
>

If someone cares enough to backport these as a coherent set, with boot
tests on the affected hardware etc, then I am not going to object.

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