[RFC 0/2] kernel: add support to collect hardware logs in panic

Rahul Lakkireddy rahul.lakkireddy at chelsio.com
Sat Mar 3 02:43:08 PST 2018

On Friday, March 03/02/18, 2018 at 18:52:45 +0530, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> Rahul Lakkireddy <rahul.lakkireddy at chelsio.com> writes:
> > On production servers running variety of workloads over time, kernel
> > panic can happen sporadically after days or even months. It is
> > important to collect as much debug logs as possible to root cause
> > and fix the problem, that may not be easy to reproduce. Snapshot of
> > underlying hardware/firmware state (like register dump, firmware
> > logs, adapter memory, etc.), at the time of kernel panic will be very
> > helpful while debugging the culprit device driver.
> >
> > This series of patches add new generic framework that enable device
> > drivers to collect device specific snapshot of the hardware/firmware
> > state of the underlying device at the time of kernel panic. The
> > collected logs are appended to vmcore along with details, such as
> > start address and length of the logs, which are required for
> > extraction during post-analysis.
> >
> > Device drivers can use crash_driver_dump_register() to register their
> > callback that collects underlying device specific hardware/firmware
> > logs during kernel panic (i.e. before booting into the second kernel).
> > Drivers can unregister with crash_driver_dump_unregister().
> >
> > To extract the device specific hardware/firmware logs using crash:
> >
> > crash> help -D | grep DRIVERDUMP
> > DRIVERDUMP=(cxgb4_0000:02:00.4, ffffb131090bd000, 37782968)
> >
> > crash> rd ffffb131090bd000 37782968 -r hardware.log
> > 37782968 bytes copied from 0xffffb131090bd000 to hardware.log
> >
> > Patch 1 adds API to allow drivers to register callback to
> > collect the device specific hardware/firmware logs.
> >
> > Patch 2 shows a cxgb4 driver example using the API to collect
> > hardware/firmware logs during kernel panic.
> >
> > Suggestions and feedback will be much appreciated.
> I strongly suggest you figure out how to run this code in the
> crash recovery kernel before your hardware is initialized.
> That will give you a known good kernel to perform your collection from.
> Every line of code we add to the kexec on panic code path tends to add
> to it's fragility and increase the chance you won't get any information
> at all.
> When the assumption is it is something wrong with your driver/hardware
> that caused the crash, calling into your driver is a very bad idea.
> Especially running code that does callbacks and all kinds of other cute
> things.
> Doing this as the crash recover kernel boots up before much if any
> hardware is initialized seems like a fine thing to do, and just
> needs a little coordination with userspace to ensure the information
> gets saved when a vmcore is computed.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I will work on achieving
this from the crash recover kernel.


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