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SubjectRe: [PATCH] pwm: sysfs: Set class on pwm devices
On Mon, Oct 05, 2020 at 11:45:30AM +0200, Greg Kroah-Hartman wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 05, 2020 at 11:30:16AM +0200, Thierry Reding wrote:
> > On Thu, Oct 01, 2020 at 01:24:49PM +0200, Greg Kroah-Hartman wrote:
> > > On Thu, Oct 01, 2020 at 11:05:31AM +0200, Lars Poeschel wrote:
> > > > On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 11:41:46AM +0200, Uwe Kleine-König wrote:
> > > > > Hello,
> > > > >
> > > > > I added Greg Kroah-Hartman who I discussed this with via irc a bit to
> > > > > Cc:.
> > > > >
> > > > > On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 11:20:56AM +0200, Lars Poeschel wrote:
> > > > > > thank you for your review!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 08:57:26AM +0200, Uwe Kleine-König wrote:
> > > > > > > On Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 02:19:53PM +0200, poeschel@lemonage.de wrote:
> > > > > > > > From: Lars Poeschel <poeschel@lemonage.de>
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > This adds a class to exported pwm devices.
> > > > > > > > Exporting a pwm through sysfs did not yield udev events. The
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I wonder what is your use-case here. This for sure also has a place to
> > > > > > > be mentioned in the commit log. I suspect there is a better way to
> > > > > > > accomplish you way.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Use-case is to be able to use a pwm from a non-root userspace process.
> > > > > > I use udev rules to adjust permissions.
> > > > >
> > > > > Hmm, how do you trigger the export? Without being aware of all the
> > > > > details in the sysfs code I would expect that the exported stuff is
> > > > > available instantly once the write used to export the PWM is completed.
> > > > > So changing the permissions can be done directly after triggering the
> > > > > export in the same process.
> > > >
> > > > The export is triggered through the userspace process itself. Why can it
> > > > do this ? Because there is another udev rule, that changes permissions
> > > > when a pwmchip appears.
> > > > Then I'd like to have the second udev rule, that changes permissions on
> > > > the freshly exported pwm. The userspace process can't do this.
> > > > You are right I could propably do everything from within udev: If a
> > > > pwmchip appears, export certain pwms and right away change their
> > > > permissions. It does not also not feel right. It'd require knowledge
> > > > from the userspace application to be mapped to udev.
> > >
> > > The way the kernel code is now, yes, you will not have any way to
> > > trigger it by userspace as the kernel is creating a "raw" struct device
> > > that isn't assigned to anything. That is what needs to be fixed here.
> > >
> > > > > Out of interest: What do you use the pwm for? Isn't there a suitable
> > > > > kernel driver that can do the required stuff? Compared to the kernel-API
> > > > > the sysfs interface isn't atomic. Is this an annoyance?
> > > >
> > > > Use-case is generating a voltage from the pwm. This voltage is used to
> > > > signal different states and does not change very often. This is
> > > > absolutely not annoying that this is not atomic. We just change the duty
> > > > cycle on the fly. Everything else is configured one time at startup.
> > > > I'd call what I need pwm-dac. I could not find a ready to use driver.
> > > > Maybe I could misuse some kernel driver for this. Maybe I could use
> > > > pwm-led or pwm-brightness or pwm-fan. Propably pwm-regulator could work,
> > > > there is even a userspace facing part for this, but this is not
> > > > devicetree ready.
> > > > ...and the worst, please don't blame me: The application is java, so
> > > > ioctl is a problem.
> > >
> > > I thought java could do ioctls, otherwise how would it ever be able to
> > > talk to serial ports?
> > >
> > > Anyway, this needs to be fixed in the kernel...
> >
> > If atomicity was a problem, we could potentially add a mechanism to the
> > sysfs interface to enable that. I don't see a good way of doing that in
> > a single file, since that works against how sysfs is designed. But one
> > thing I could imagine is adding a file ("lock", or whatever you want to
> > call it) that you can use for atomic fencing:
> >
> > $ echo 1 > lock # locks the hardware state
> > $ echo 100 > period
> > $ echo 50 > duty_cycle
> > $ echo 0 > lock # flushes state to hardware
> >
> > But it sounds like that's not even a big issue.
>
> That is exactly what configfs was designed for :)

Interesting... for some reason I had never thought about configfs in
this context. But it does indeed sound like it could solve this problem
in a better way.

My memory is a bit sketchy, but I think for USB device controllers this
works by exposing each controller in configfs and then configuring
things like endpoints within the controller's directory. So I wonder if
instead of requesting PWMs via sysfs, we should rather expose them via
configfs items.

Something like:

# mkdir /configfs/7000a000.pwm/0

could then be the equivalent of exporting PWM channel 0 of the given PWM
chip in sysfs, except that now you get a configfs directory with
attributes that you can use to inspect and reconfigure the PWM channel
and ultimately apply the changes atomically.

How does that work from a permissions point of view? How do we ensure
that people don't need root privileges to access these?

Thierry
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